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J Korean Soc Echocardiogr. 1996 Dec;4(2):130-137. Korean. Original Article.
Ahn JC , Shim WJ , Park SW , Song WH , Lim DS , Park CG , Kim YH , Oh DJ , Ro YM .
Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Korea.


Atherosclerotic change of peripheral arteries including coronary artery is importantly associated with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. It has been reported that intima-media thickness(IMT) of common carotid artery(CCA) measured by ultrasound B-mode scan is capable of quantitatively evaluating atherosclerotic changes in a safe and reproducible way. However, little information currently exists on the relationship between IMT of CCA and the severity of coronary artery atherosclerosis in Korea and the question of whether intimamedia thickness of carotid artery can be used as a surrogate marker of coronary artery atherosclerosis is not completely resolved. Thus, current study was undertaken to investigate the association between IMT of CCA measured by ultrasound B-mode scan and the coronary artery atherosclerotic lesion on angiographic finding, and atherosclerotic risk factors.


88 patients who underwent coronary artery angiography and B-mode scan of right CCA with 7.5MHz linear array transducer were included for the study. The patients who had received revascularization procedure were excluded. IMT was measured in far wall of CCA at 10mm proximal to carotid bulb. Coronary artery lesion was quantitated by vessel score(V.S) and extent score(E.S). As a risk factor, serum total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein(LDL),high density lipoprotein(HDL), triglyceride(TG), fasting blood sugar were measured and history of hypertension, diabetes mellitus and smoking were investigated.


The mean of IMT was 0.776±0.329mm in whole cases. 45 cases had normal coronary arteries and 43 cases had significant coronary artery disease(one vessel disease : 25(27%), two vessel : 9(11%), three vessel : 9(11%). The mean vessel score was 0.78±0.99 and the mean extent score was 45.3±32.6. Mean IMT of the patients with no significant coronary artery stenosis was less than the patients with more than one significant coronary artery stenosis with marginal statistical significance(0.75±0.32mm, 0.92±0.32mm, respectively, p=0.053). In whole cases, the correlation of IMT and vessel score of extent score of coronary artery was not founded. Among risk factors, history of smoking was weakly correlated with IMT of CCA (r=0.27), vessel score(r=0.43), and extent score(r=0.26) of coronary artery. But other risk factors of atherosclerosis such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, total cholesterol, triglyceride, high density lipoprotein were not correlated with IMT of CCA or severity and extent of coronary artery atherosclerosis.


These findings demonstrates that there was very week relation between intimamedia thickness of common carotid artery and artherosclerotic change of coronary artery. Although the number of cases of this study is small, the results suggests that there must be a caution on applying IMT of common carotid artery as a screening method for assesment of coronary artery artherosclerosis.

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