K. Buljan, M. Benšić, M. Vladetić, V. Buljan, S. Butković Soldo

Neurosonology and Cerebral Hemodynamics 14, 2018:31–40

TITLE Functional Carotid Ultrasound Markers of Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Vascular Healthy Women
AUTHOR/S K. Buljan, M. Benšić, M. Vladetić, V. Buljan, S. Butković Soldo
PUBL. DATE April 2018
SOURCE Neurosonology and Cerebral Hemodynamics 14, 2018:31–40
TYPE Periodic scientific journal

Objective: To compare functional ultrasound markers of subclinical carotid atherosclerosis in vascular healthy women with some of the cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF).
Material and Methods: А total number of 125 women aged 32–59 years, x ̅ (SD) = 49.4 (6.45), classified into three risk categories (diabetes, hypertension, smoking cigarettes) and a control group of subjects without CVRF were examined. Standardized ultrasound intima-media thickness (IMT), maximum and minimum carotid artery diameter and blood pressure were used to calculate elasticity (distensibility coefficient (DC), compliance coefficient (CC)) and stiffness (Young’s elastic modulus (YEM), beta stiffness index (β)) indicators. Subclinical atherosclerosis is defined by the presence of carotid atherosclerotic plaque and/or IMT ≥75th percentile of the control group.
Results: Pearson's correlation coefficient indicated positive correlation of age and β (0.608; p<0.001), and negative of age and DC (-0.605; p<0.001), regardless of CVRF presence. Significant difference was found in carotid arteries’ elasticity/stiffness between the groups in all ultrasound markers (DC, CC and β p<0.001, YEM p<0.05; Kruskal–Wallis). The most pronounced elasticity decrease was detected in diabetic and stiffness increase in hypertensive subjects. Significant difference in functional properties of the carotid arteries between the control group and smokers was not found (multiple comparisons, p>0.05). DC (AUC 0.817) and ß (AUC 0.816) seem to be the best predictors of subclinical atherosclerosis (ROC analysis).
Discussion: Finally, in examining vascular healthy women, DC and ß are acceptable ultrasound markers of early arteriosclerotic changes of functional characteristics of carotid arterial wall, especially those arising in the presence of diabetes and hypertension.


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