Introduction: The aim of the study was to examine changes in carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) and carotid plaque morphology in patients receiving multifactorial cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor management in a community-based prevention clinic. Quantitative changes in CIMT and qualitative changes in carotid plaque morphology may be measured non-invasively by ultrasound. Material and methods: This is a retrospective study on a cohort of 324 patients who received multifactorial cardiovascular risk reduction treatment at a community prevention clinic. All patients received lipid-lowering medications (statin, niacin, and/or ezetimibe) and lifestyle modification. All patients underwent at least one follow-up CIMT measurement after starting their regimen. Annual biomarker, CIMT, and plaque measurements were analyzed for associations with CVD risk reduction treatment. Results: Median time to last CIMT was 3.0 years. Compared to baseline, follow-up analysis of all treatment groups at 2 years showed a 52.7% decrease in max CIMT, a 3.0% decrease in mean CIMT, and an 87.0% decrease in the difference between max and mean CIMT (p < 0.001). Plaque composition changes occurred, including a decrease in lipid-rich plaques of 78.4% within the first 2 years (p < 0.001). After the first 2 years, CIMT and lipid-rich plaques continued to decline at reduced rates. Conclusions: In a cohort of patients receiving comprehensive CVD risk reduction therapy, delipidation of subclinical carotid plaque and reductions in CIMT predominantly occurred within 2 years, and correlated with changes in traditional biomarkers. These observations, generated from existing clinical data, provide unique insight into the longitudinal on-treatment changes in carotid plaque.
- Cardiovascular disease
- Carotid intima-media thickness
- Vascular disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas