New use of contrast-enhanced assessment of carotid wall intimal-medial thickness: initial observations
      Intimal-medial thickness (IMT) of the common carotid artery (CCA) has been extensively used as a marker of early or diffuse atherosclerosis and correlates well with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), a profound risk factor for cardiovascular events. The posterior CCA wall has been used for this evaluation, but the anterior wall evaluation has been neglected because of poor visualization. We have previously investigated the benefit of contrast agents in enhancing luminal-wall interface for the calculation of left ventricular mass. We, for the first time, report the use of Optison (Mallinckrodt, St. Louis, MO) to visualize the CCA and assess both IMT and the presence of carotid artery plaque.
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