Carotid-IMT Ultrasounds – Preventing Heart Attacks In Your Office

In November 2010, a Task Force assembled by the American College of Cardiology Foundation and the American Heart Association issued new guidelines for assessment of cardiovascular risk in asymptomatic adults.*

One new cardiovascular test received a higher level of recommendation in the 2010 ACCF/AHA Guidelines than the following widely used tests:

  • Stress Echocardiography
  • Exercise ECG
  • Resting Echocardiography
  • Advanced Lipoprotein Analysis, including Lp(a)
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2)
  • Genotype Testing

This test?  The Carotid-IMT

A non-invasive, office-based, ten-minute ultrasound of the carotid arteries can improve the health of your patients, and your practice!


C-IMT is a painless 10-minute ultrasound of the carotid arteries. Computer guided scoring determines the average intima-media thickness of the artery wall. This measurement will be compared to a healthy control group to determine the patient’s “arterial age.”

C-IMT measurement represents an independent marker of an individual’s cardiovascular risk, according to the American Heart Association.

In addition, BMI technicians will look for plaque in the carotid artery. If detected, the plaque will be noted and characterized by our data analysts. The presence of carotid plaque also predicts cardiovascular risk independent of other risk factors.

Furthermore, carotid artery flow will be observed, noting any obstruction or irregular flow velocities.

Who Should Get Tested?

The American Heart Association recommends C-IMT for all patients over 45 years of age.  In addition, C-IMT is recommended for those under 45 with one or more of the following risk factors:

  • Family History of Cardiovascular Disease
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary Lifestyle
  • Diabetes
  • Tobacco Use
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High “Bad” (LDL) Cholesterol
  • Low “Good” (HDL) Cholesterol
  • Elevated Triglycerides