Beyond intima-media-thickness: Analysis of the carotid intima-media-roughness in a paediatric population.
Subclinical atherosclerosis assessed by sonographic intima-media-thickness measurement of the carotid artery (cIMT) is considered to be an early precursor of cardiovascular disease already in childhood. Structural analysis of the carotid intimal layer (carotid intima-media-roughness, cIMR) improves cardiovascular risk profiling for the adult patient and has been shown to be increased also in paediatric patients with elevated cardiovascular risk. To date, normal values for the paediatric age are lacking. Thus, we present normative data for a paediatric age group.602 healthy German school children (age 8-18 y) were studied, and cIMT and cIMR calculated; reference values were given for three age groups (group 1: 8-10.99 years; group 2: 11-13.99 years; group 3: 14-17.99 years).cIMT values were: 0.48 ± 0.03 mm for girls and boys in age group 1, 0.49 ± 0.03 mm for girls and boys in age group 2; and 0.45 ± 0.03 mm for girls and 0.49 ± 0.03 mm for boys in age group 3; cIMR was 0.04 ± 0.01 mm forboth sexes in age group 1 and 3; while in age group 2, both sexes showed a cIMR of 0.03 ± 0.01 mm. Physical fitness was significantly negatively correlated with cIMR (r = - 0.212, p< 0.0001) and a strong predictor for cIMR increase.The normative data of cIMR for a paediatric age group presented here allow for the identification of patients at elevated cardiovascular risk. By including cIMR as surface analysis of the arterial wall, the individual risk stratification may be improved compared to thickness-analysis of the Intima-Media-Layer (cIMT) also at a paediatric age.