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Carotid bifurcation geometry is an independent predictor of early wall thickening at the carotid bulb.

TitleCarotid bifurcation geometry is an independent predictor of early wall thickening at the carotid bulb.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsBijari PB, Wasserman BA
Secondary AuthorsSteinman DA
JournalStroke
Volume45
Issue2
Pagination473-8
Date Published2014 Feb
ISSN1524-4628
KeywordsAged, Aged, 80 and over, Angiography, Atherosclerosis, Carotid Arteries, Carotid Artery Diseases, Female, Hemodynamics, Humans, Linear Models, Magnetic Resonance Angiography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Middle Aged, Prognosis, Risk Factors
Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Lumen geometry has long been suspected as a risk factor for atherosclerosis by virtue of its influence on blood flow disturbances. Confirmation of this geometric risk hypothesis has, however, proved challenging owing to possible effects of wall thickening on geometry and unproven links between candidate geometric variables and disturbed flow. The purpose of this study was to overcome these challenges.

METHODS: The study relied on imaging and risk factor data from progressively refined subsets of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Carotid MRI study. Group 1 (n=467) included only nonstenotic cases having sufficient quality angiography for 3-dimensional analysis. Group 2 (n=346) excluded cases from group 1 having common and internal carotid artery wall thickness above previously identified thresholds for inward remodeling. Group 3 (n=294) excluded cases from group 2 having lumen irregularities and thus was least likely to include lumen geometries influenced by wall thickening.

RESULTS: Multiple linear regressions showed that for group 3, bifurcation flare and proximal curvature were independent predictors of internal carotid artery wall thickness, consistent with their previously demonstrated roles in predicting disturbed flow. For the broadest group 1, flare was an independent predictor of internal carotid artery wall thickness but with a sign change in regression coefficient reflecting effects of wall thickening on lumen geometry.

CONCLUSIONS: Carotid bifurcation geometry is an independent, albeit weak, predictor of its early wall thickening, but only when assumptions about geometric factors, and the influence of disease on them, are confronted. This highlights pitfalls of previous attempts to confirm geometric risk of atherosclerosis.

DOI10.1161/STROKEAHA.113.003454
Alternate JournalStroke
PubMed ID24357655
PubMed Central IDPMC4321819
Grant ListHHSN268201100012C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100009I / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
MOP-62934 / / Canadian Institutes of Health Research / Canada
HHSN268201100010C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100008C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100005G / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100008I / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100005C / / PHS HHS / United States
HHSN268201100007C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100009C / / PHS HHS / United States
HHSN268201100011I / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100011C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
U01 HL075572 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100010C / / PHS HHS / United States
HHSN268201100006C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100008C / / PHS HHS / United States
HHSN268201100012C / / PHS HHS / United States
HHSN268201100005I / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100007C / / PHS HHS / United States
HHSN268201100009C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100011C / / PHS HHS / United States
HHSN268201100005C / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100007I / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
U01HL075572-01 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201100006C / / PHS HHS / United States