Increased common carotid artery wall thickness is associated with rapid progression of asymptomatic carotid stenosis

Marina Diomedi, Daria Scacciatelli, Giulia Misaggi, Simona Balestrini, Clotilde Balucani, Fabrizio Sallustio, Silvia di Legge, Paolo Stanzione, Mauro Silvestrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Purposes: This study aimed to identify clinical and ultrasound imaging predictors of progression of carotid luminal narrowing in subjects with asymptomatic moderate internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis. Methods: A total of 571 subjects with asymptomatic moderate (50-69%) ICA stenoses were enrolled. They underwent ultrasound examination at baseline and after 12 months. Demographics, vascular risk factors, medications, plaque characteristics (surface and echogenicity) and common carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) were collected. At the follow-up examination, any change of ICA stenosis was graded in three categories (i) ≥70% to near occlusion, (ii) near occlusion, and (iii) occlusion. Progression of stenosis was defined as an increase in the stenosis degree by at least one category from baseline to follow-up. Results: At 12 months, progression occurred in 142 subjects (prevalence rate 25%). At the multivariable logistic model, pathological IMT values (considered as binary variable: normal: ≤1 mm vs. pathologic: >1 mm) significantly predicted the risk for plaque progression after adjusting the model for possible confounders (OR 2.28, 95% CI 1.18-4.43, P = .014, multivariable logistic model). Conclusions: Our results confirm the role of carotid wall thickening as a marker of atherosclerosis. Carotid IMT measurement should be considered to implement risk stratification in patients with asymptomatic carotid disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-478
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroimaging
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Carotid intima-media thickness
  • Carotid stenosis progression
  • Echo-Doppler
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Medicine(all)


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