What is a CIMT? How does it show your arterial age?
Carotid Intima Media Thickness or CIMT measures the thickness of the artery wall using ultrasound. A thicker wall predicts a higher risk of developing new unstable plaque which sets the stage for a heart attack or stroke.
The condition of your carotid arteries reflects the disease in your arteries throughout your body – including the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart.
So your carotid arteries are like the “canary in the coal mine.” They can signal whether you have the makings of a heart attack or stroke. A thick artery wall is a sick artery wall. The thickness is reported as an “arterial” age.”
You don’t want old arteries. If they are old and thick, our treatment makes them younger and healthier, preventing a catastrophic event. We listen to that canary!
The misconception that arterial disease cannot be reversed and prevented is one of the most dangerous ideas people have. The concept that a heart attack or stroke is inevitable because of genetics and family history is incorrect. Many steps can be taken to prevent you from ever having an event. Our goal is that you never get to a point where you need interventional treatment for an event.
CIMT detects disease earlier than stress tests or even angiograms. The good news is that the ultrasound of your carotid arteries is easy, painless, quick and affordable. In most cases insurance pays for the test, especially in the presence of other diseases or risk factors. This life-saving test costs $200.
Once we have a baseline of your arterial age, the amount of thickening, and the plaque that is present, we monitor the results of the preventative measures you have undergone. The ability to accurately measure the change in the artery thickness allows us to show results as well as giving us the ability to change and improve your personal prevention plan. The Center for Prevention believes in real and repeatable data to provide you with a level of care that goes beyond standard care and improves the quality of your life.