Relationship of sonographic wall components of the brachial artery to hypertension and coronary atherosclerosis
AbstractThe aim of this study was to determine whether sonographically assessed intimal (echodense, ED) or medial (echolucent, EL) thickening of the brachial artery is associated with coronary artery disease (CAD) and/or arterial hypertension (HT). In 201 patients the ED and EL wall components, as well as the total wall thickness of the brachial artery, were measured with high-resolution ultrasound (13 MHz). According to the presence or absence of CAD and HT, the patients were divided into four groups: no HT and no CAD (n = 26, group 1), CAD (≥30% diameter stenosis in ≥1 major branch) only (n = 63, group 2), HT only (n = 34, group 3), and HT and CAD (n = 78, group 4). EL ( p < 0.001) and combined wall thickness ( p < 0.001), but not the ED wall component, were significantly different between the groups, with the highest values occurring in group 4. On logistic regression analyses adjusting for age, coronary risk factors and body mass index, EL, but not ED, thickness correlated independently with the presence of CAD (p = 0.04) and HT ( p < 0.001). High-resolution ultrasound examination of the brachial artery wall structure may contribute to the noninvasive assessment of early atherosclerosis.