Heart disease is the number one cause of death and number one preventable disease. We have now performed thousands of scans and have been doing this for a long time. We use carotid IMT to determine ones risk of heart disease and see how our treatment reverses the process of plaque build up (reducing the intima media layer) of your arteries.
Knowledge is power to make a change. If you have high risk factors, concerned about your heart health or have a family history of heart disease then it is important to know your risk. It will give you peace of mind knowing where you fall in terms of your risk of heart disease. A carotid IMT scan is just that it will let you know what your risk is so you can do something about it or keep doing what you are doing.
An angiogram is the gold standard for looking inside the arteries of your heart. However, to get this test done you have to be presented with symptoms and/or have had a heart attack. They will not do this test for prevention purposes nor would it be recommended. It is a great test to do if you are at high risk, but it involves an immense amount of radiation.
The carotid intima media thickness (IMT) test is a great screening test as it can detect disease before even showing up on common cardiac diagnostics tests such as a stress test and echocardiogram. It is a completely safe non-invasive test with no radiation. The carotid IMT test is accurate, painless and quick test to see if you are at risk.
Carotid IMT helps to identify patients at higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
Are you concerned about your heart health? Over 50% of people who had a heart attack had no prior signs or symptoms.
Are you Over 40?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions a carotid IMT scan would be for you.
It’s never too late to reduce your risk for heart attack or stroke. Follow-up CIMT screening can track your progress as you work to reduce your risk.
During the test, you lie flat on an exam table for approximately 15 minutes. A registered nurse places a probe on the main arteries of your neck (the carotids) and acquires ultrasound images. The images are then transferred to a computer. A summary report is printed showing how you compare to persons of your same gender and age. This report is then given to you.
Carotid IMT is a value which increases with age. Published studies of Carotid IMT measurements on thousands of patients have made it possible to develop a reference range of what is normal at different ages.
Measuring the IMT enables us to compare your results to a very large population database and give us a relative age of your arteries. How old is your heart? For example, Carotid -IMT can tell a 45-year-old patient that he or she has the arteries of a 60-year-old, that sends a very different message than saying the arteries look like those of a 60-year-old.
If your cardiovascular age exceeds your chronological age, then it alerts your healthcare team to be more aggressive at controlling those risk factors associated with heart disease and stroke. More importantly, with various therapies, it is possible to achieve regression or slow down progression of the Carotid IMT. A follow-up Carotid IMT is done 6 to 18 months after therapy is initiated to evaluate the effectiveness of that heart therapy.
This CIMT test can also be used to follow the success of our preventive therapy in patients with known cardiovascular disease.
The Heart Fit Clinic believes in conducting evidence-based clinical practice. Pharmaceutical companies use Carotid IMT in cholesterol trials to measure disease regression.
The following articles explain the science supporting the CIMT procedure :
The carotid (neck) arteries provide a “window” to the coronary (heart) arteries, so hardening of the carotid arteries is directly related to the hardening of the coronary arteries. As the carotid artery is closer to the surface of the skin it is easier to access than the coronary artery and provides us with just as valuable information.
Carotid IMT is an independent predictor of future cardiovascular events, including heart attacks, cardiac death, and stroke.