Carotid Intima-Media Thickness

What is CIMT?

CIMT stands for Carotid Intima-Media Thickness and refers to the thickness of the inner layers of the carotid artery.

Who should have a CIMT test?

Men and women between the ages of 40 and 75 years without known heart disease. This vascular health screening (CIMT) aids in the assessment of  cardiovascular risk, particularly in people who have a family history of heart disease, cholesterol disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes, or who smoke.

What is a CIMT test?

It is a safe, painless, noninvasive test that uses digital ultrasound and sophisticated software that measures the thickness of the inner layers of the carotid artery to determine your vascular age.

During the CIMT, you will lie flat for 30-40 minutes. A small amount of gel will be applied to your neck and sound beams are used to assess the carotid artery. Measurements of the carotid wall thickness will be made using the digital software.

How are the results of the CIMT test beneficial to me?

Arterial thickening provides the earliest evidence of hardening of the arteries. This thickening, known as atherosclerosis, is the beginning stage of a disease process that may lead to heart disease and stroke. The CIMT test results can help predict your risk for future heart attacks and stroke.

Using the results of the vascular health screening test (CIMT), a cardiovascular specialist will provide personalized guidance concerning exercise, diet, smoking cessation, and control of your risk factors for heart and blood vessel disease. The intensity of your treatment will be directly dependent on your results.

Questionnaires, measurement of body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels are also used in your counseling session. If a complete cholesterol panel and blood sugar level has not been measured in the past three months, the patient will need to have fasting blood work prior to a CIMT test.