Carotid artery wall thickness and ischemic symptoms: evaluation using multi-detector-row CT angiography

Eur Radiol. 2008 Sep;18(9):1962-71. doi: 10.1007/s00330-008-0962-5. Epub 2008 Apr 11.


The purpose of this study was to determine if carotid artery wall thickness (CAWT) studied by using multi-detector-row CT angiography (MDCTA) can be considered an effective parameter predictive of increased risk of stroke. A total of 217 patients were retrospectively studied by using MDCTA. In all patients CAWT was measured with an internal digital caliper. Continuous data were described as the mean value +/- standard deviation (SD), and they were compared with Student's t-test. Scatter plots to determine interobserver agreement were performed, and correlation coefficient was calculated with Pearson statistics. A P value <0.05 was considered to mean statistical significance. Measurements of the distal common CAWT ranged from 0.5 to 1.6 mm. In the patient group without stroke, average CAWT was 0.82 mm (0.22 SD), whereas in patient group with stroke it was 1.096 mm (0.21 SD). CAWT in patients without stroke showed statistical difference (P < 0.0001) when compared to patients with stroke. By using a threshold of 1 mm, an important statistical association between thick CAWT and stroke was found (P < 0.0001). In fact, patients with > or = 1 mm CAWT had stroke with an odds ratio of 8.16 when compared with patients with <1 mm CAWT. Resulting data suggested that an increased CAWT is an indicator for risk of stroke. This parameter should be considered in addition to other well-known risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, smoking, and dyslipidemia.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Ischemia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Ischemia / epidemiology*
  • Carotid Arteries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cerebral Angiography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging*
  • Stroke / epidemiology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / statistics & numerical data*