INTRODUCTION When loss of arterial elasticity noted at an earlier age than expected it can signify the initiation of subclinical disease. The objective of the study is to assess the feasibility and usefulness of a range of indices of arterial stiffness and intima-media thickness of the carotid artery using echo-tracking in the assessment of vascular damage among individuals with and without cardiovascular risk factors.
METHODS Subjects were divided into two groups: without cardiovascular risk factors and with cardiovascular risk factors. Each groups were further subdivided according to decades of age. Family histories of cardiovascular risk factors and blood chemistry tests measurements were recorded. Functional parameters of arterial stiffness ( AC, Ep, Beta, PWV, and AI) by echo-tracking and the intima-media thickness were also measured. Data were expressed as mean ± SD and percentage. The relationship of the risk factors with carotid artery stiffness parameters and intima media thickness were analyzed using ANOVA. P
RESULT: The relationship between the stiffness indices and age among subjects without cardiovascular risk factors was noted to be slowly increasing in both CCA except for the AC which is gradually reduced (Figure 1 and 2). ANOVA analysis showed age dependence for IMT. On analyzing the carotid arterial stiffness parameters among subjects without cardiovascular risk factors compared with the presence of cardiovascular risk factors not maintained on medications, there was significant difference except for the AC and AI. No significant differences in IMT noted, suggesting that this structural parameter is affected later on. Comparing the carotid arterial stiffness parameters and IMT among patient without and with cardiovascular risk factors maintained on medications, no significant difference noted (Table 11 - 15).
CONCLUSION: The results of the study suggest relevant age-related changes occur in the arterial system and these changes can occur earlier among patients with cardiovascular risk factors. Carotid arterial stiffness parameters (beta, Ep and PWV) are the ultrasonographic indicators which change the earliest in population with CVRF without maintenance medications (16, 17 and 20). Pharmacologic treatment ( antihypertensive, hypoglycemic drugs, anti-dyslipidemic drugs) can alter these parameters. Echo-tracking is a potentially useful tool for the evaluation of arterial stiffness parameters in assessing vascular damage but should be further validated in larger population.