Intima Media Thickness Variability (IMTV) and its association with cerebrovascular events: A novel marker of carotid atherosclerosis

Cardiovascular Diagnosis and Therapy, 02/29/2012

Saba L et al. – Data of this preliminary study suggest that Intima Media Thickness Variability may represent a powerful method to assess carotid atherosclerotic disease with a significant association to cerebrovascular events.


  • The study was approved by the local IRB.
  • Twenty consecutive patients underwent ultrasound analysis of the carotid arteries (mean age 68 years; age range 59–81 years).
  • The IMT and IMTV of the 40 carotid vessels was assessed.
  • Bland–Altman statistics were employed to measure the inter–observer variability, and ROC analysis was used to assess the association with cerebrovascular events.


  • In all cases the ROC area under the curve was higher for IMTV than IMT.
  • There was a statistical significant association between IMTV and cerebrovascular events (P=0.018), but no relationship between IMT and events.
  • The results for inter–observer variability showed a systematic error between 0.04 mm and 0.08 mm.
  • In the Person Rho correlation analysis in no case a statistical association between IMT and symptoms was detected whereas in 2 cases (observer 1 and observer 2), a statistically significant association between IMTV and symptoms was found.

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