Femoral Artery Ultrasound Examination: A New Role in Predicting Cardiovascular Risk

Pierleone Lucatelli, Corrado Fagnani, Adam Domonkos Tarnoki, David Laszlo Tarnoki, Maria Antonietta Stazi, Miriam Salemi, Carlo Cirelli, Beatrice Sacconi, Alessandro D'Adamo, Fabrizio Fanelli, Carlo Catalano, Giacomo Pucci, Giuseppe Schillaci, Claudio Baracchini, Emanuela Medda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We compared intima-media thickness (IMT) and the prevalence of plaques in the common carotid artery (CCA) and common femoral artery (CFA) in apparently healthy participants. This multicenter study included 322 participants (59.9% female; age 20-78 years, mean 52.1 ± 15.3 years) who underwent Echo-color Doppler examination of the CCA and CFA bilaterally. Prevalence and composition of plaque were recorded. A significant (P <.01) difference between mean CCA-IMT and mean CFA-IMT was detected (0.70 vs 0.73 mm). Plaque prevalence was significantly higher in the CFA compared to the CCA (40.7% vs 30.4%). Atherosclerotic plaques were found in both CFA and CCA in 46% of the cases, solely in CFA in 38%, and in CCA alone in 17%. The observed difference in plaque prevalence was even greater when only fibrolipid isolated plaques were considered (CFA 39.4% vs CCA 22.1%). In a healthy general population, atherosclerotic plaques were present in the CFA but not in the CCA in over one-third of the cases. Further studies must confirm whether ultrasonography of the CFA might be introduced in the screening protocols for cardiovascular risk assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-265
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2017


  • cardiovascular risk
  • common carotid artery plaque
  • common femoral artery plaque
  • intima-media thickness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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