Carotid Intima Media Thickness Test (CIMT)
Vascular age testing is the process of measuring the Carotid Intima Media Thickness (CIMT) to identify risk of atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. CIMT is beneficial as it provides a direct measurement of atherosclerosis, even in its earliest stages before it causes symptoms or starts to block blood flow. The CIMT test is non-invasive and, painless.
The CIMT examination uses ultrasound technology to measure the thickness of the first two layers of the carotid artery located in the neck, where plaque which can block blood-flow first develops. Thickness of the artery wall is an early indicator of vascular disease. The thicker the arterial wall, the greater the risk for plaque development and eventually heart attack or stroke.
Many patients who develop heart disease have normal cholesterol levels and lack other indicators of risk. CIMT provides early detection of risk for heart disease- and early detection can lead to early intervention with a heart health action plan- by lifestyle modifications or other therapeutic interventions Reversing existing hardening of the arteries decreases the risk for a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiac event.
A CIMT test is most appropriate for individuals seeking preventative health or who are at risk for heart disease based on the cardiovascular risk factors:
- Family history of heart disease and/or stroke
- Overweight or physical inactivity
- High blood pressure
- High LDL or low HDL cholesterol
- Elevated triglycerides
- Metabolic syndrome
A CMIT is provided as part of our Elite Health Evaluation.