Comparison of Parameters for Assessment of Carotid Stiffness and Their Association with Carotid Atherosclerosis in Rural Australian Adults: A Pilot Study

Marjana Petrova, Alex Gavino, Yujie Li, Craig S. McLachlan

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Abstract

Carotid stiffness has been associated with the development and progression of carotid artery disease and is an independent factor for stroke and dementia. There has also been a lack of comparison of different ultrasound-derived carotid stiffness parameters and their association with carotid atherosclerosis. This pilot study aimed to investigate the associations between carotid stiffness parameters (derived via ultrasound echo tracking) and the presence of carotid plaques in Australian rural adults. In cross-sectional analyses, we assessed forty-six subjects (68 ± 9 years; mean ± SD) who underwent carotid ultrasound examinations. Carotid stiffness was assessed by a noninvasive echo-tracking method, measuring and comparing multiple carotid stiffness parameters, including stroke change in diameter (ΔD), stroke change in lumen area (ΔA), β- stiffness index, pulse wave velocity beta (PWV-β), compliance coefficient (CC), distensibility coefficient (DC), Young’s elastic modulus (YEM), Peterson elastic modulus (Ep), and strain. Carotid atherosclerosis was assessed bilaterally by the presence of plaques in the common and internal carotid arteries, while carotid stiffness was assessed at the right common carotid artery. β-stiffness index, PWV-β, and Ep were significantly higher (p = 0.006, p = 0.004, p = 0.02, respectively), whilst ΔD, CC, DC, and strain were lower among subjects with carotid plaques (p = 0.036, p = 0.032, p = 0.01, p = 0.02, respectively) comparing to subjects without carotid plaques. YEM and ΔA did not significantly differ among the groups. Carotid plaques were associated with age, history of stroke, coronary artery disease, and previous coronary interventions. These results suggest that unilateral carotid stiffness is associated with the presence of carotid plaques.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2935
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Volume12
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

Keywords

  • carotid plaques
  • carotid stiffness
  • carotid ultrasound
  • echo-tracking
  • rural population

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