Radial artery intima-media thickness predicts major cardiovascular events in patients with suspected coronary artery disease

Charlotte Eklund, Elmir Omerovic, Inger Haraldsson, Peter Friberg, Li Ming Gan
European Heart Journal Cardiovascular Imaging2014
AIMS: In the present study, we investigated the prognostic value of radial artery intima-media thickness (rIMT) in patients with suspected coronary artery disease (CAD). Carotid artery intima-media thickness is a well-known surrogate marker of atherosclerosis. Recently, using very high-resolution ultrasound, we showed rIMT can be imaged with great precision and is related to various cardiovascular risk factors.\n\nMETHODS AND RESULTS: We recruited a total of 416 patients (62 ± 9 years, 44% male) with suspected CAD, referred to myocardial perfusion scintigraphy (MPS). Among these patients, 133 underwent coronary angiography on clinical indication. Two-dimensional images of carotid and radial arteries were acquired bilaterally (using 8 and 55 MHz ultrasound, respectively). All patients were followed regarding major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), including cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, and coronary revascularization. A group of 20 healthy subjects (aged 61 ± 3, 50% male) were recruited for reference. During 3 years of follow-up, 77 MACE occurred. Patients with MACE exhibited significantly thicker rIMT vs. those without (0.35 ± 0.06 vs. 0.32 ± 0.07 mm, P < 0.001). Increased rIMT was associated with an increased occurrence of significant coronary artery narrowing, diagnosed by coronary angiography (P = 0.028). Patients with rIMT values above the median had a nearly three-fold increased risk for MACE (hazard ratio 2.8, 95% confidence interval 1.6-4.8). In multivariate analysis, rIMT (P = 0.011) remained a significant predictor of MACE, along with type II diabetes (P = 0.012), body mass index (P = 0.024), and MPS-verified ischaemia (P < 0.001).\n\nCONCLUSION: Radial artery IMT, assessed by very high-resolution ultrasound, confers prognostic information in patients with suspected CAD.
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