Local effects of atherosclerotic plaque on arterial distensibility

Cristina Giannattasio, Monica Failla, Guglielmo Emanuelli, Alessandra Grappiolo, Lucia Boffi, Davide Corsi, Giuseppe Mancia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia are characterized by a reduction in arterial distensibility and by accelerated atherosclerosis. Whether arterial stiffening is an inherent feature of these conditions or just the consequence of the atherosclerotic clinical or subclinical lesions is not known, however. Our aim was to obtain information on this issue by directly measuring, in humans, arterial distensibility both at the site of an atherosclerotic lesion and at the proximal normal site. In 10 patients (8 men; mean±SEM age, 65.2±3.4 years) affected by monolateral hemodynamic significant internal carotid artery stenosis, we measured arterial distensibility (Wall Track System; PIE Medical) bilaterally, both at the internal carotid artery and at the common carotid artery level. In the common carotid artery, measurements were made 3 cm below the bifurcation. In the affected internal carotid artery, measurements were made at the plaque shoulder (wall thickness of 2 mm). Measurements were made in the contralateral internal carotid artery at a symmetrical level. Arterial wall thickness was measured in the same site of arterial distensibility. Arterial distensibility was less in the internal than in the common carotid artery, with a marked reduction at the plaque internal carotid artery level compared with the corresponding contralateral site (-45%, P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1177-1180
Number of pages4
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Arteries
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Plaque

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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