Sandrock, M; Hansel, J; Schulze, J; Schmitz, D; Niess, A; Burkhardt, H; Schmidt-Trucksaess, A
Sequentially based analysis versus image based analysis of Intima Media Thickness in common carotid arteries studies - do major IMT studies underestimate the true relations for cardio- and cerebrovascular risk?
BACKGROUND: Image-based B-mode ultrasound has gained popularity in major studies as a non-invasive method of measuring cardio- and cerebrovascular risk factors. However, none of the major studies appears to have paid sufficient attention to the variation in end diastolic wall process. By using sequentially based analyses (SBA) of Intima-Media Thickness (IMT), the general purpose of this study was to show that the current image based (ECG tracked) analysis (IBA) has some major variations and might underestimate the true relations for cardiovascular events and stroke for IMT measurement. METHOD: The study group consisted of 2500 healthy male subjects aged between 35 to 55 years. 4 sequences (300 images) were analyzed per subject. 750,000 images were analysed throughout the course of this study. RESULTS: IBA showed significantly lower mean, maximal, and minimal values for IMT in CCA than for SBA. The correlation analysis between IBA and SBA with the cardio- and cerebrovascular risk factors showed a higher correlation of SBA for all risk factors. The Pearson coefficient was 0.81, p< 0.01, for SBA versus Framingham CHD risk level (FCRL) and 0.49, p = 0.01, for IBA versus FCRL. CONCLUSION: IBA did not measure the true maximal values of the IMT in this study. Together with the correlation analysis, this indicates that IBA might underestimate the true relations for IMT and risk factors.