Left carotid adventitial vasa vasorum signal correlates directly with age and with left carotid intima-media thickness in individuals without atheromatous risk factors
Arcidiacono, Maria V.
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Objective: The early identification of the onset of subclinical atheromatosis is essential in reducing the high mortality risk from cardiovascular disease (CVD) worldwide. Although carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) is the most commonly used early predictor of ongoing atherosclerosis, an experimental model of atherosclerosis, demonstrated that increases in adventitial microvessels (vasa vasorum (VV)) precede endothelial dysfunction. Using the reported accuracy of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEU) to measure carotid adventitial VV, this study assessed whether measurements of carotid adventitial VV serve as a marker of subclinical atherosclerotic lesions in a control population with none of the classical risk factors for CVD. Methods and results: Measurements of cIMT (B-mode ultrasound) and adventitial VV (CEU) were conducted in 65 subjects, 30–70 years old, 48% men, with none of the classical risk factors for CVD. Adventitial VV strongly correlated with its own cIMT only in the left carotid artery. Importantly, the left carotid adventitial VV directly correlated with age. Conclusions: The increases with age in left carotid adventitial VV in individuals with zero risk for atheromatosis suggest that the measurement of carotid adventitial VV could be an accurate and sensitive marker for the diagnosis of subclinical atheromatosis and therefore a prominent tool for monitoring the efficacy of anti-atheromatous therapies. Keywords: Atheromatosis, Vasa vasorum, Contrast-enhanced ultrasound, Carotid arteries, Adventitial layer
Is part ofCardiovasc Ultrasound, 2015, vol.13, núm. 20
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