European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 170, Issue 6, pp 719–729 | Cite as

Increased intima-media thickness of the carotid artery in childhood: a systematic review of observational studies

  • Christophe Lamotte
  • Catalina Iliescu
  • Christian Libersa
  • Frédéric Gottrand


Increased carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) in adults may be caused by a childhood exposure to cardiovascular risk factors. We systematically reviewed observational studies to determine whether obesity, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), dyslipidemia (DL), hypertension (HT), and chronic renal failure (CRF) are associated with increased cIMT in children and adolescent patients compared with control subjects. We performed a PubMed literature search from January 1986 to February 2010. Two reviewers separately verified the inclusion criteria of relevant studies for the objective of the review. The data extracted in the patient and control groups were sample size, age, gender, cIMT measurement methods, cIMT values, and statistical analysis results. From 348 citations, 65 cross-sectional studies (2 cited twice) with case–control design met the inclusion criteria: 26 in obesity, 14 in IDDM, 11 in DL, 8 in HT, and 8 in CRF. cIMT measurement protocols varied according to the studies, with measurements being performed on the common carotid artery in 65/67 cases and on the far wall in 57/67 cases. From the 67 studies cited, 22/26 reported a significantly increased cIMT in obese children and adolescents compared with the control group, 8/14 in IDDM patients, 10/11 in DL patients, 7/8 in HT patients, and 8/8 in CRF patients. Conclusion: Despite the heterogeneity of ultrasound measurement methods, cIMT was significantly increased in 55 out of the 67 cited studies, confirming early vascular damages in pediatric populations with an increased future risk for vascular diseases.


Intima-media thickness Carotid artery Childhood Cardiovascular disease Atherosclerosis 


Conflict of interest

The authors indicate that they have no conflict of interest and no financial relationships that might have influenced the present work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christophe Lamotte
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 8
  • Catalina Iliescu
    • 5
    • 6
  • Christian Libersa
    • 1
    • 3
  • Frédéric Gottrand
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    • 7
  1. 1.Centre d’Investigation Clinique, Centre Hospitalier UniversitaireLilleFrance
  2. 2.Service de Médecine Interne, Centre Hospitalier UniversitaireLilleFrance
  3. 3.Faculté de MédecineUDSL, Univ Lille Nord de FranceLilleFrance
  4. 4.INSERM U995, IFR 114LilleFrance
  5. 5.Service de PédiatrieGroupe Hospitalier de l’Institut Catholique lilloisLilleFrance
  6. 6.Université Catholique de Lille, Univ Lille Nord de FranceLilleFrance
  7. 7.Service de PédiatrieCentre Hospitalier UniversitaireLilleFrance
  8. 8.Centre d’Investigation Clinique, Centre Hospitalier UniversitaireLille cedexFrance

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