The effectiveness of high-resolution ultrasound in the assessment of the carotid intima–media thickness for postirradiated neck
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The carotid intimal–medial thickness (CIMT) is a strong predictor of future cardiovascular events. We assessed the mean CIMT and evaluated associated factors in head and neck cancer (HNC) patients.
Materials and methods
Between January 2016 and March 2018, 70 volunteers underwent automatic ultrasound measurement of the common carotid artery CIMT. A mean CIMT ≥ 1.0 mm was regarded as an elevated risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). We aimed to investigate the risk factors for an increased mean CIMT.
We recruited 20 HNC survivors and 50 noncancer control individuals. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that old age (β = 0.006, 95% confidence interval, CI 0.004–0.008), increased weight (β = 0.003, 95% CI 0.001–0.005), hypertension (β = 0.10, 95% CI 0.03–0.17), and prior irradiation (β = 0.13, 95% CI 0.08–0.19) were positively correlated with the mean CIMT. From logistic regression analysis, it was shown that patients who underwent radiotherapy (OR 13.5, 95% CI 1.48–122.8) and who had higher bodyweight (OR 1.09, 95% CI 1.01–1.18) had a significantly higher risk of developing CVD.
Measurement of the mean CIMT using ultrasound could be useful for assessing CVD risk in HNC survivors after neck irradiation.
KeywordsCarotid intima–media thickness Head and neck cancer Irradiation Cardiovascular disease
This work was supported by grants from the Far Eastern Memorial Hospital Research Program (FEMH - 2017-C-012).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest, or non-financial interest in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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