Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 158-166

Intima-media thickness of femoral arteries and carotids among an adult hypertensive Nigerian population: A case–control study to assess their use as surrogate markers of atherosclerosis

1 Department of Radiology, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
2 Department of Radiology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
3 Department of Medicine, Cardiology Unit, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ademola Joseph Adekanmi
Department of Radiology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aam.aam_57_18

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Background: Increased intima-media thickness (IMT) is an established and important surrogate marker for atherosclerosis. Intima-media thickening in the femoral arteries occur earlier and reflect the true extent of generalized atherosclerosis better than in the carotids. Aims: To study the ultrasound-detected morphological changes in the common femoral versus carotid artery wall. Patients and Methods: A case-control study design was used, with 61 adult hypertensive as cases and 61 age-, sex- and BMI-matched normotensive as controls. Variables were participants' characteristics, cardiovascular risk factors, and ultrasonographically evaluated IMT of the carotid and femoral arteries. Results: A total of 122 participants were studied. The mean femoral IMT in hypertensives and controls on the right and left was 0.63 ± 0.07mm vs. 0.52 ± 0.06mm [P < 0.0001] and 0.69 ± 0.0 mm vs. 0.55 ± 0.05mm [P < 0.0001]. Also, the mean carotid IMT among hypertensives and controls on the right =0.80 ±0.15mm vs. 0.64 ± 0.06mm [P < 0.0001], and 0.91 ± 0.22mm vs. 0.65 ± 0.06mm [P < 0.0001] on the left. Significant correlation was observed between IMT and age (B = 0.006, P < 0.001 and B = 0.003, P < 0.001), hypertension (B = 0.205, P < 0.001 and B = 0.122, p<0.001), and duration of hypertension (B = 0.02, P < 0.001 and B = 0.006, P = 0.02) the femoral and carotid arteries respectively. Conclusion: The femoral and the carotid artery show similar significantly increased IMT in hypertensive adults. The femoral IMT appears to be a good surrogate marker of atherosclerosis among hypertensive Nigerians.

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