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High resolution ultrasound and arterial wall changes in early atherosclerosis

Renton, Sophie Caroline; (1995) High resolution ultrasound and arterial wall changes in early atherosclerosis. Masters thesis (MSurg), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Non-invasive vascular testing evolved initially to meet the needs of the surgeon to identify haemodynamically significant lesions. However, with refinement of techniques and the development of high resolution ultrasound, it has become possible to detect early lesions and to measure the thickness of die arterial wall with an accuracy of 0.2mm. Such measurements have epidemiological and prognostic potential. They may allow the study of progression (or regression) of atherosclerotic disease before symptoms develop. The aim of this thesis was to assess the value of arterial wall measurements of intima-media thickness and compliance of the common carotid artery in the prediction of early atherosclerotic disease. Four different anatomical patterns of carotid bulb morphology have been identified, according to the position of the bulb origin in relation to the flow divider. It has been demonstrated that bulb morphology influences the site of early plaque formation. The presence of plaque at the carotid and femoral bifurcations was found to be associated with increased intima-media thickening of the common carotid artery. Histological analysis of common carotid arteries taken at post-mortem showed that this diffuse intima-media thickening is the result of deposition of cholesterol crystals, medial atrophy, fatty and fibrous change, and accumulation of necrotic debris, the features characteristic of plaques, even though discrete plaques rarely occur at this site. Subsequently, a number of clinical studies were undertaken which demonstrated that the intima-media thickness is increased in diabetics, hypopituitary patients and claudicants as compared to controls. It was found that the intima-media thickness of the common carotid artery could be used to predict the presence of bifurcation plaques and macrovascular disease. The work of this thesis has demonstrated that high resolution ultrasound is a powerful technique for die study of the arterial wall and should be tested in prospective studies for its suitability as an epidemiological tool.

Type: Thesis (Masters)
Qualification: MSurg
Title: High resolution ultrasound and arterial wall changes in early atherosclerosis
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by Proquest.
Keywords: Pure sciences; Biological sciences; Ultrasound
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10098483
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