Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Intima-Media Thickness (IMT)

  • Jonathan NewmanEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_1270


Intima-media thickness (IMT) is defined by the measurement of a component of the walls of muscular arteries (intima) by specific modalities of ultrasound, at defined locations in the human body. Intima-media thickness of the carotid artery has been the location most consistently associated with risk of atherosclerotic risk. Because ultrasounds of the carotid artery can be performed safely, at low risk (no ionizing radiation) and with a relatively high degree of reproducibility, IMT has been a common surrogate endpoint in epidemiologic studies and in clinic trials.

Carotid IMT (CIMT) is correlated with other vascular risk factors and is considered an “intermediate phenotype” of early atherosclerosis that independently predicts vascular events. In general, greater CIMT values are associated with greater cardiovascular risk. However, an absolute definition of abnormal CIMT has been problematic due to the effects of age and hypertension on CIMT, independent of their...

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References and Readings

  1. Bots, M. L., Baldassarre, D., Simon, A., de Groot, E., O’Leary, D. H., Riley, W., et al. (2007). Carotid intima-media thickness and coronary atherosclerosis: Weak or strong relations? European Heart Journal, 28(4), 398–406.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA