Carotid Intima Media Thickness Ultrasound
CIMT is a noninvasive test, which is performed with a high-resolution B-made ultrasound transducer. The test is safe, painless, and takes about twenty minutes. After applying conducting jelly to the skin over your neck, a small hand-held transducer is applied to image the carotid arteries. The sonographer and off-site laboratory measure and report on the combined thicknesses of the intimal and medial layers of the carotid artery walls.
The carotid ultrasound report by Vasolabs has two independent results. The top section of the report documents:
- the location of the plaque
- the specific measurement of occlusion if there is stenosis over 20%
- measurement of plaque from a longitudinal view
- identification of the type of plaque (soft, calcified, or heterogenous)
- velocity measurements in the Internal Carotid (which takes blood to the brain)
powered color to describe to arterial blood flow
The definition of plaque is a measurement > 1.5mm or the carotid arterial wall that has a thickening 50% or more than the surrounding tissue*. Vasolabs is more aggressive and measures plaque > 1.0mm so physicians can make preventative decisions and create a baseline to monitor changes over the years.
The second section is the measuring the Intima Media thickness. <25% is optimal and indicates a person is at low risk of cardiovascular disease; 25-75% is considered an average range; and >75% reveals a person is high and indicative of cardiovascular disease risk.
Individuals with the following risk factors for vascular disease should ask about CIMT:
- Family history of heart disease/stroke
- Increased cholesterol level
- Age 40+
- High-fat diet
- Tobacco user
- High blood pressure
- Metabolic syndrome