Carotid intima media thickness (CIMT) predicts cardiovascular (CVD) events, but the predictive value of CIMT change is debated. The Authors of this study assessed the relation between CIMT change and events in individuals at high cardiovascular risk and confirm that common CIMT is associated with future CVD events in individuals at high risk.
However, although common CIMT is associated with future CVD event risk, this is not apparently true for common CIMT change over time. Reasons may include the complexity of atherosclerotic process, and technical limits of current CIMT measurement.
Do these null findings mean that CIMT (change) is not scientifically useful? The results of this study confirm that CIMT is still a very useful biomarker, with close associations with both risk factors and future endpoints. The change of CIMT, however, should be interpreted with care.