Carotid intima-media thickness

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In medicine and cardiovascular disease, the carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), measuring the carotid artery, is a surrogate outcome measure used in randomized controlled trials of the treatment of atherosclerosis.[1] It is suggested that "an annual increase of 0.03 mm in intima–media thickness was associated with a tripling of the rate of coronary events."[1]

The relationship between changes in carotid intima-media thickness and cardiac events is not clear.[2] A meta-analysis concludes "the modest relation between CIMT and coronary atherosclerosis most likely reflects variability in atherosclerosis development between the vascular beds rather than limitations of CIMT measurements."[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Brown BG, Taylor AJ (April 2008). "Does ENHANCE diminish confidence in lowering LDL or in ezetimibe?". N. Engl. J. Med. 358 (14): 1504–7. DOI:10.1056/NEJMe0801608. PMID 18376002. Research Blogging.
  2. Lorenz MW, Polak JF, Kavousi M, Mathiesen EB, Völzke H, Tuomainen TP et al. (2012). "Carotid intima-media thickness progression to predict cardiovascular events in the general population (the PROG-IMT collaborative project): a meta-analysis of individual participant data.". Lancet 379 (9831): 2053-62. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60441-3. PMID 22541275. Research Blogging.
  3. Bots ML, Baldassarre D, Simon A, et al (February 2007). "Carotid intima-media thickness and coronary atherosclerosis: weak or strong relations?". Eur. Heart J. 28 (4): 398–406. DOI:10.1093/eurheartj/ehl482. PMID 17277033. Research Blogging.