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09 January 2002

The 'CARFEM' vascular index as a predictor of coronary atherosclerosis.

Christophe Claessens, Marc Claessens, Philip Claessens, Maria Claessens, Jan Claessens

Med Sci Monit 2002; 8(1): MT1-9 :: ID: 420963

Abstract

BACKGROUND:The purpose of the study was detection of coronary atherosclerosisand identification of persons at risk by means of non-invasive examination of the carotid and peripheralarteries. MATERIAL/METHODS: Investigation of 366 patients: 229 males and 137 females divided into groupsaccording to age and the severity of the coronary atherosclerotic lesions. Only patients with a coronarystenosis of more than 90%, who needed angioplasty or coronary bypass surgery, were included. Group Iconsisted of patients with normal coronary arteries; Group II, critical one-vessel disease; Group III,two-vessel disease; Group IV, critical three-vessel disease. By means of a vascular duplex scan we measuredbilaterally the intima-media thickness of the posterior wall of the common carotid artery. In order toprovide a more accurate estimation of the total atherosclerotic burden we have created the 'CARFEM' index(combination index of intima media thickness of carotid artery and total wall thickness of the superficialfemoral artery). RESULTS: The anthropometric data were identical among the different groups. There arestatistically highly significantly differences in the intima-media thickness of the common carotid arterywhen patients with normal coronary arteries are compared with patients with three-vessel coronary disease.By calculating the 'CARFEM' index not only we can differentiate between patients with normal coronaryarteries and patients with critical three-vessel disease, but there are also ways to differentiate betweendifferent subgroups and to assess possible one-vessel, two-vessel or three-vessel coronary artery disease.CONCLUSIONS: The determination of the intima-media thickness of the common carotid artery clearly enablesus to detect possible coronary atherosclerosis and to predict its severity in a non-invasive way. Thecombined assessment of the carotid and the femoral arterial walls permits us to make a distinction betweenthe different subgroups, divided according to the severity of the underlying coronary atherosclerosis.

Keywords: Algorithms, Carotid Arteries, Coronary Arteriosclerosis, Risk Factors, Tunica Intima, Ultrasonography

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750