Intima-media thickness score from carotid and femoral arteries predicts the extent of coronary artery disease: intima-media thickness and CAD

Int J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2005 Oct;21(5):495-501. doi: 10.1007/s10554-004-8165-x.


Objectives: In the present study we measured carotid and femoral intima-media thickness (IMT) by B-Mode ultrasonography, as well as angiographic extent and severity of coronary artery disease in patients referred for coronary arteriography, to assess the relation between individual IMT, scores incorporating IMT from the carotid and femoral arteries and the extent and severity of coronary artery disease.

Methods: Two hundred and two patients referred for elective coronary angiography underwent ultrasound imaging of both carotid and femoral arteries for IMT measurements. An IMT score was developed as the number of sites with abnormal IMT (range 0-8). Multiple regression analysis indicated that IMT score was independently related to Gensini score, age and glucose levels. A high risk IMT score predicted an extended coronary artery disease although a low or medium risk IMT score cannot exclude the possibility of multivessel disease. Also, a high risk group could predict the performance of revascularization procedures and all cardiovascular events during a follow-up of 14.5 +/- 2.4 months.

Conclusions: IMT incorporating data from common and internal carotid artery, carotid bifurcation and femoral artery are well correlated with the extent of coronary atherosclerosis, much better than individual IMT. Patients with high IMT score usually have multivessel coronary artery disease and are at increased risk for subsequent cardiovascular events.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Carotid Arteries / pathology*
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Femoral Artery / pathology*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Tunica Intima / pathology*
  • Tunica Media / pathology*


  • Blood Glucose