Sonographic Determination of Common and Internal Carotid Intima Media Thickness in Normal Adult Population in Northeastern Nigeria

  • O.G. Magaji
  • I.T. Annongu
  • D.M. Chia
  • M. Hameed
  • A. Farate
  • A. Angbalaga
  • P.U. Bulus


Background: Intima-media thickness (IMT) assessment of the common carotid artery (CCA) is a predictor of atherosclerosis. Early detection of this disease is important in management of cardiovascular complications.

Objectives: The study aimed at establishing the baseline values of IMT for the Northeastern part of Nigerian for reference purposes. This is in order to create standards for defining abnormalities. Ultrasonography is readily available, relatively cheap and does not use ionizing radiation making it an ideal imaging modality to measure the IMT of carotid arteries.

Method: This was a cross-sectional study carried out at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital from February to October, 2011. Four hundred adult males and females above 18 years underwent carotid artery ultrasonography for measurement of the IMT of the common and internal carotid arteries. The influence of age, sex, weight, height, and the body mass index (BMI) on these parameters was also investigated.

Results: There were 239 (59.80%) males and 161 (40.20%) females aged between 18 to 81 years (Mean ± SD, 36.74±14.79 years). The mean ± SD IMT for RCCA, LCCA, RICA, and LICA was 0.73±0.14mm, 0.73±0.14mm, 0.72±0.14mm, and 0.71±0.14mm respectively. The IMT of the carotid arteries increased significantly with age. The mean ± SD values were 1.11mm ± 0.09 and 1.08mm ± 0.11 at <20 years for CCA and ICA respectively but 1.90mm ±0.07 and 1.95mm ±0.05 at >70 years in males and 1.13 ±0.23 and 1.13mm ±0.14 for CCA and ICA respectively at less than 20yrs but 2.00 ±0.00 and 1.80mm ± 0.00 at >70 years. IMT also increases with BMI. The IMT in the CCA was 0.73mm ± 0.89, 0.73mm ± 0.13 and 0.79mm ± 0.09 for underweight, normal and overweight, respectively. There was no definite orderly pattern in sex and IMT.

Conclusion: Normal values of the IMT of CCA and ICA have been established in this environment using ultrasonography. The data may be useful in the prevention of cerebrovascular disease which is related to IMT of carotid arteries.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2437-1734
print ISSN: 0189-9422