Comparison of carotid plaque characteristics, arterial remodelling changes, left ventricular geometry and inflammatory markers in patients with chest pain and unobstructed coronary arteries, chronic stable angina or acute coronary syndromes

  • Satheesh Balakrishnan Nair

Student thesis: Doctor of Medicine


Introduction: Atherosclerosis remains asymptomatic until it progresses to cause flow-limiting disease. Identifying patients at high risk in the early stages of the atherosclerotic process may allow modification of cardiovascular risk by effective preventive strategies. Various non-invasive tests have been studied and have shown promising results in predicting future adverse cardiovascular events. The objective of this study was to establish the carotid ultrasonographic markers that best correlate with angiographic coronary artery disease (CAD) and the relationship between left ventricular geometry, carotid atherosclerosis, biomarkers and CAD in patients with unobstructed coronary arteries, chronic stable angina (CSA) and acute coronary syndromes (ACS).Methods: Carotid ultrasound examination, echocardiography and serum biomarker estimation were performed in consecutive patients who underwent coronary angiography for evaluation of stable or acute chest pain. Results: A total of 146 subjects were recruited into the study with a mean age of 56.9 ± 10.6 (range 29 to 85) years; 120 were men (82%) and 26 (18%) women. Twenty-one percent of the study population had unobstruced coronaries, 42% had stable CAD and 37% had presented with ACS. There was no significant difference in the carotid intima media thickness (CIMT) measurements between the three groups. CIMT correlated with abnormal left ventricular geometry but not with the presence or severity of CAD. The presence of carotid plaque and plaque score correlated with obstructive CAD, but was not significantly different between stable CAD and ACS patients. There was a trend towards more echogenic plaque in the stable CAD group. The composite score of IMT and plaque was positively correlated with the presence and severity of CAD. The averaged myocardial peak systolic and early diastolic velocities were significantly lower in those with obstructive CAD. CRP and osteopontin levels were higher in the ACS patients.Conclusions: Carotid plaque and not CIMT was associated with angiographic coronary artery disease. Averaged systolic and early diastolic myocardial velocities by tissue doppler imaging correlated with obstructive CAD. Novel serum biomarkers are promising and further studies are needed.
Date of Award31 Dec 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorBernard Clarke (Supervisor)


  • Biomarker
  • Left ventricular geometry
  • Carotid plaque
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Carotid intima-media thickness

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