Carotid Intima Media Thickness and Its Utility as a Predictor of Cardiovascular Disease: A Review of Evidence

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Abstract

Cardiovascular (CV) disease is still the leading cause of death in the developed world, despite the considerable progress in CV medical and surgical therapeutics. Many risk factors are associated with the development of future adverse CV events, such as age, hypertension, body mass index, and other comorbidities. Carotid intima media thickness (CIMT) is one method of calculating plaque burden by assessing the level of arterial thickening present. CIMT can be used as a noninvasive marker of atherosclerotic disease with increasing CIMT linked to an increased risk of subsequent CV events. In this review, the association of CIMT with CV disease is explored. Current literature on the role of CIMT in predicting CV outcomes is reviewed to determine whether it is a predictor of CV events, both in the general population and in the high-risk groups, such as those with hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and chronic kidney disease.

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