Correlation of ultrasound-measured common carotid artery stiffness with pathological findings.
To quantitatively and noninvasively evaluate common carotid atherosclerosis in a series of patients, we measured the stiffness parameter beta, which represents the mechanical properties of the vessel. beta was calculated from the relationship between blood pressure and the diameter of the artery as measured by an ultrasonic, phase-locked, echotracking system. Increases in the severity grade of atherosclerosis as subsequently determined at autopsy were correlated with increased beta values in 60 common carotid arteries (r = .68). Patients with beta values greater than 13 had a pathological diagnosis of atherosclerosis in the common carotid artery. The sensitivity of this discrimination ratio was 80%, and the specificity was 80% as well. Thus, beta shows promise as a useful diagnostic indicator for detecting asymptomatic common carotid atherosclerosis.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association