Carotid artery wall thickness: comparison between sonography and multi-detector row CT angiography

Neuroradiology. 2010 Feb;52(2):75-82. doi: 10.1007/s00234-009-0589-5. Epub 2009 Sep 2.


Introduction: Prospective studies have shown that an increased thickness of the carotid wall is a significant predictor of coronary and cerebrovascular complications. Our purpose was to assess the agreement between multi-detector row computed tomography (CT) angiography (MDCTA) and colour Doppler ultrasound (CD-US) in measuring carotid artery wall thickness (CAWT) and the intima-media thickness (IMT).

Methods: Altogether, 97 subjects (age range 64-84 years) were prospectively analysed using a four-detector row CT and a sonographic scanner. In total, 46 subjects had shown cerebral ischaemic symptoms. CAWT and IMT were measured in each patient using MDCTA and CD-US (by applying a digital calliper), respectively. Continuous data were described as the mean value +/- standard deviation and were compared using the Mann-Whitney U test. A p value <0.05 was considered significant. Bland-Altman statistics was employed to measure the agreement between MDCTA and CD-US.

Results: CAWT ranged from 0.5 to 1.53 mm, with a mean value of 0.9072 mm. IMT ranged from 0.46 to 1.5 mm, with a mean value of 0.8839 mm. By analysing the Bland-Altman plot, we observed an excellent agreement between CD-US and MDCTA with a bias between methods of 0.023 +/- 0.0424 mm. A limit of agreement from -0.06 to 0.106 was recorded. Correlation coefficient r was 0.9855 (95% confidence interval 0.9808-0.989). Mann-Whitney U test indicated a p value of 0.377.

Conclusions: Obtained results indicated a significant agreement between MDCTA and CD-US in the measurement of CAWT and IMT.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carotid Arteries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carotid Arteries / pathology
  • Carotid Stenosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Stenosis / pathology
  • Cerebral Angiography / methods*
  • Echocardiography, Doppler, Color / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Size
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*