Background: Alterations in arterial absolute distension (AD) and relative distension (RD) in the common carotid artery (CCA), as observed by ultrasound, may relate to atherosclerotic processes in a nearby vascular segment. The main objective of the study was to establish to what extent these mechanical vascular alterations relate to carotid bulb stenosis. Methods: The AD, RD and their interrecording variation (Delta AD and Delta RD), representing the spatial inhomogeneity of AD and RD, were evaluated in 308 CCA and associated with the degree of bulb stenosis. Results: The mechanical CCA parameters were marginally correlated to the degree of ipsilateral (r = -0.14 for AD and r = -0.28 for RD) and contralateral stenosis (r = -0.21 for AD and r = -0.27 for RD). However, Delta AD (r = 0.54; p <0.001) and Delta RD (r = 0.59; p <0.001) were significantly correlated to ipsilateral stenosis, independent of age, gender and pulse pressure. Conclusions: The indices of CCA arterial stiffness are weakly associated with ipsilateral bulb stenosis, but their interrecording variation is a good indicator for atherosclerotic alterations in the carotid bulb. The results indicate that a focal atherosclerotic lesion is associated with modifications in the dynamic characteristics of a nearby vascular segment.
- Carotid arteries
- Arterial stiffness