Clinical research
Peripheral vascular stiffness, assessed with two-dimensional speckle tracking versus the degree of coronary artery calcification, evaluated by tomographic coronary artery calcification index
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Submission date: 2012-10-10
Final revision date: 2012-11-20
Acceptance date: 2012-12-20
Online publication date: 2015-03-14
Publication date: 2015-02-28
Arch Med Sci 2015;11(1):122–129
Introduction: Even in asymptomatic patients, the result of atherosclerosis progression is deterioration of the function and morphology of the artery wall. Two-dimensional speckle-tracking (2DST) is a sonographic technique that allows for precise evaluation of arterial wall compliance. Together with measurement of intima-media thickness (IMT), it can be applied for quick and non-invasive assessment of the progression of peripheral artery atherosclerosis.
Material and methods: Fifty-eight patients of mean age 61 years (SD 10.6) underwent cardiac computed tomography (CT) and subsequent ultrasonographic evaluation of the left common carotid artery. The calcium score was calculated according to the Agatston method and compared with IMT, circumferential strain variables assessed by 2DST, conventional arterial stiffness parameters (-stiffness index and elastic modulus) and clinical data. Intra-observer and inter-observer agreement was evaluated.
Results: Strain variables and IMT differed significantly in patients with calcium score (CS) > 0 and CS = 0. Moreover, they correlated with CS, systolic blood pressure and age of patients. Conventional stiffness parameters were not able to identify the group of patients with calcifications present in the coronary arteries. For the 2DST technique, interclass and intraclass agreements were 84.83% and 94.42% respectively.
Conclusions: Circumferential strain variables assessed by 2DST and measurement of IMT can be used for evaluation of peripheral artery deterioration in patients until the 6th decade of life. These parameters reflect the development of calcifications in coronary arteries and, more importantly, can be used for a more detailed estimation of the atherosclerosis risk in patients with CS = 0.