Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between morphological and functional parameters of the brachial and carotid arteries and the angiographic extent and severity of coronary artery stenosis in patients with severe coronary artery disease (CAD).
Design: A cross-sectional study.
Setting: University hospital.
Main outcome measures: Flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), intima-media thickness (IMT) in the brachial artery and atherosclerotic wall changes in the carotid arteries were measured by B-mode high-resolution ultrasound in 58 patients who had undergone coronary angiography.
Results: A significant correlation was seen between the extent of coronary artery stenosis defined as the coronary angiographic score and both the mean brachial artery IMT and intima-media area (IMa; P = 0.01 and P = 0.04, respectively). There was no significant correlation between FMD and the extent of coronary artery stenosis. A significant correlation was seen between the mean carotid artery IMT and the mean brachial artery IMT (r = 0.30, P = 0.03). However, there was no significant correlation between FMD and the mean carotid artery IMT or IMa (r = 0.16, P = 0.23 and r = 0.17, P = 0.24, respectively).
Conclusions: Morphological but not functional parameters of the brachial artery are associated with the extent of coronary artery stenosis and atherosclerotic wall changes in the carotid arteries in patients with severe CAD. These findings indicate a potential of B-mode ultrasonography of morphological parameters in the brachial artery in the diagnostic and prognostic evaluation of patients with suspected CAD.