***AMA version (for Physicians)***
- Juhyun Lee, BS
- Andrew Phan, MS
- Jing Gao, MD
First published June 1, 2020
The aim of the study was to assess the value of multiparametric ultrasound in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk screening of the carotid artery. We performed ultrasonography of carotid arteries in 96 adults in 3 age groups: senior (age ≥65 years, n = 44), middle age (age 45-64 years, n = 31), and young adults (age 20-44 years, n = 21). The senior group was then divided into subgroups: athletes (n = 21) and non-athletes (n = 23). Ultrasound parameters included carotid intima-media thickness, distensibility coefficient, and presence of plaque(s). Statistical analyses included one-way analysis of variance with post hoc to analyze the differences in ultrasound parameters among the age groups; unpaired t-test to examine differences between hypertensive and normotensive participants, between seniors with and without plaque(s), and between senior athletes and non-athletes; Pearson correlation coefficient to analyze correlations of ultrasound parameters to age and blood pressure; and intraclass correlation coefficient to test intra- and inter-observer reliability in performing multiparametric ultrasound. Carotid intima-media thickness and distensibility coefficient significantly differed among the 3 age groups and between athletes and non-athletes (P < .001). Senior athletes had greater distensibility than non-athletes (all Ps < .05). Carotid intima-media thickness was increased and distensibility was reduced with age and hypertension. Age and blood pressure positively correlated with carotid intima-media thickness (Pearson correlation coefficient, r > .21) and negatively with distensibility coefficient (Pearson correlation coefficient, r < –.48). Inter- and intra-observer reliability in performing multiparametric ultrasound was good (intraclass correlation coefficient, r > .81). Multiparametric ultrasound is a useful tool to assess carotid artery function and morphology comprehensively.