Carotid Intima-Media Thickness and Carotid Plaques Improves Prediction of Obstructive Angiographic Coronary Artery Disease in Women

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Does carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT), a surrogate marker of cardiovascular events, have predictive incremental value over established risk factors for stable coronary artery disease (CAD)? Prospective study of 300 patients, with suspected stable CAD, admitted for an elective coronary angiography and carotid ultrasound. The CAD patients had a higher cIMT, which showed a modest predictive accuracy for CAD (area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve 0.638, 95% confidence interval 0.576–0.701, P < .001). The cIMT was an independent predictor of CAD, together with age, gender, and diabetes. C-statistic for CAD prediction by traditional risk factors was not significantly different from a model that included cIMT, carotid plaque presence, or both. However, in women, it was significantly increased by the addition of cIMT or carotid plaque presence. Although cIMT cannot be used as a sole indicator of CAD, it should be considered in the panel of investigations that is requested, particularly in women who are candidates for coronary angiography.

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