Feasibility and Normal Ranges of Arterial Intima-Media Thickness and Stiffness in 2-Year-Old Children: A Pilot Study.


Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania, 17 Liverpool St, Hobart, TAS, 7000, Australia. [Email]


BACKGROUND : In adults, noninvasive assessments of vascular function have been established. However, little is known about the applicability and reference values of these techniques among children < 6 years old and none ≤ 2. We aimed to determine the feasibility of conducting noninvasive vascular assessments in 2-year-old children and the normal range of results in this age group.
METHODS : Carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) and abdominal aorta IMT (aaIMT), pulse wave velocity (PWV), arterial diameter change, stiffness index (β), and distensibility were assessed in 2-year-old children. IMT was assessed using an automatic contour detection.
RESULTS : The proportion of successful measurements was 72% (42/58) with cIMT 64%, aaIMT 67%, and PWV 43%. Average far wall cIMT was 0.51 mm and 0.40 for aaIMT. Mean PWV was 4.15 m/s, with relatively wider range in stiffness index and distensibility. Common carotid arteries had a higher mean distensibility of 4.58%/10 mmHg compared with 2.98%/10 mmHg for the abdominal aorta. The number of data points automatically detected at far wall cIMT was higher than that in aaIMT (left cIMT: 244 ± 13 and right: 240 ± 23 vs. abdominal 185 ± 63, p < 0.001). Better and more consistent quality was achieved for cIMT than aaIMT measurements. PWV measurement was only feasible in cooperative children with efficient distractions.
CONCLUSIONS : Noninvasive methods for early detection of cardiovascular risks were feasible in at least two-thirds of 2-year-old children. Given the greater feasibility and image quality, cIMT is a preferable option for assessing vascular health in young children.


Arterial stiffness,Children,Intima-media thickness,Pulse wave velocity,

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