Objective: B-mode ultrasound measurement of the carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) is a widely used marker for atherosclerosis and is associated with future cardiovascular events. This article provides a review and meta-analysis of the published evidence on the association of CIMT with future cardiovascular events and its additional value to traditional cardiovascular risk prediction models. Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis of the evidence on the association of CIMT with future cardiovascular events and the additional value of CIMT to traditional cardiovascular risk prediction models was conducted. The association of CIMT with future cardiovascular events and the additional value of CIMT were calculated using random effects analysis. Results: The literature search yielded 1196 articles of which 15 articles provided sufficient data for the meta-analysis. A 1 SD increase in CIMT was predictive for myocardial infarction (HR 1.26, 95% CI 1.20-1.31) and for stroke (HR 1.31, 95% CI 1.26-1.36). A 0.1 mm increase in CIMT was predictive for myocardial infarction (HR 1.15, 95% CI 1.12-1.18) and for stroke (HR 1.17, 95% CI 1.15-1.21). The overall performance of risk prediction models did not significantly increase after addition of CIMT data. The areas under the curve increased from 0.726 to 0.729 (p = 0.8). Conclusions: CIMT as measured by B-mode ultrasound is associated with future cardiovascular events. However, the addition of CIMT to traditional cardiovascular risk prediction models does not lead to a statistical significantly increase in performance of those models.

Atherosclerosis, Carotid ultrasound, Intima-media thickness, Risk prediction
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2013.01.025, hdl.handle.net/1765/64314
Atherosclerosis
Department of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery

van den Oord, S.C.H, Sijbrands, E.J.G, Sijbrands, E.J.G, van Klaveren, D, van Domburg, R.T, van der Steen, A.F.W, & Schinkel, A.F.L. (2013). Carotid intima-media thickness for cardiovascular risk assessment: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Atherosclerosis (Vol. 228, pp. 1–11). doi:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2013.01.025