Establishing Sexual Dimorphism in Diameter of Carotid Arteries among Normotensive Adult Nigerians
Background: The Doppler scan serves as an early and non-invasive diagnostic tool for carotid artery disease due to its location, which is significant for cerebrovascular accidents. The carotid diameter has been associated with hypertension just as a sexual variation in hypertensives is documented. However, the difference among healthy individuals with normal pressure and body weight with relation to the diameter of the carotid is not proven among healthy Nigerians.
Objective: The objective of the study is to identify a sexual dimorphism in the diameter of the carotid artery and its association with body mass index and blood pressure among normotensive Nigerians.
Materials and Methods: Atotal of 104 were sampled with the average age of 28 years comprising 62 males and 42 females. Doppler ultrasound scans of common, internal, and external carotid arteries were made by an experienced radiologist using a linear transducer with a frequency of 7.0 Mhz. Diameter measurements were taken in end-diastolic alongside blood pressure, pulse, height, weight, and neck and waist circumference.
Results: The total diameter measurements of the common carotid artery for male and female were 0.62 ± 0.09 and 0.60 ± 0.07 cm, respectively, internal carotid artery were 0.60 ± 0.08 and 0.61 ± 0.08 cm, respectively, and external carotid artery were 0.48 ± 0.11 and 0.50 ± 0.08 cm, respectively. Although the differences were not statistically significant, their associations with the measured biophysical and clinical parameters showed significant differences in both sexes.
Conclusion: we opine that sexual dimorphism should not be ruled out by the mere absence of significant difference in the descriptive analysis but also in the associations with other parameters.
Keywords: Carotid artery diameter, sexual dimorphism, ultrasound scan