Increased intima thickness of the radial artery in individuals with prehypertension and hypertension

Anna Myredal, Li Ming Gan, Walter Osika, Peter Friberg, Mats Johansson
Background: We have used a novel ultra high-frequency (55 MHz) ultrasound technique to non-invasively measure the radial arterial vessel wall and separate the intima-media (IMT) complex into measurements of intima and media thickness (IT and MT). Since no previous study has measured IT and MT separately in individuals with prehypertension and hypertension, the aim of the current study was to measure IT and MT thickness of the radial arteries among individuals with prehypertension, hypertension and healthy subjects. Methods and results: Individuals with prehypertension (n = 32), hypertension (n = 34) and healthy subjects (n = 29) underwent ultra high-resolution ultrasound of the radial artery. Individuals with prehypertension showed a 14% increase in IT compared to healthy subjects (0.083 ?? 0.020 mm versus 0.073 ?? 0.015 mm; p < 0.05), whereas no difference was seen in MT. Individuals with hypertension showed a 12% increase of in IT compared to healthy subjects (0.082 ?? 0.018 mm versus 0.073 ?? 0.015 mm, p < 0.05), whereas no differences were seen regarding MT. Prehypertensive and hypertensive individuals did not differ regarding IT and MT. Conclusion: Both prehypertension and hypertension are associated with thickening of the intimal layer of the radial artery. The present data indicates that intima thickening appears early during the development of hypertension even when blood pressure is only slightly elevated. ?? 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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