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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-7

Close association between carotid and coronary atherosclerosis analyzed through SYNTAX score

1 Department of Cardiology, University Hospital Paolo Giaccone, Palermo, Italy
2 Department of Cardiology, University Campus Bio-Medico, Rome, Italy

Correspondence Address:
P Levantino
Department of Cardiology, University Hospital Paolo Giaccone, Palermo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/VIT.VIT_5_19

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AIM: This study analyzed the association between carotid and coronary atherosclerosis, particularly in terms of the severity as well as the extension of the disease. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We have recruited a consecutive series of 478 patients (admitted to the Cardiology Unit of University Hospital Paolo Giaccone during 2004–2014). These patients underwent both carotid Doppler ultrasound and coronary angiography. Sex, age, and traditional cardiovascular risk factors were considered. The SYNTAX score was used to grade the complexity of coronary disease. RESULTS: The present study revealed a clear association between carotid atherosclerosis and coronary disease: 68.2% of the examined population showed atherosclerosis in both carotid and coronary arteries. The absence of carotid atherosclerosis was predominantly associated with angiographically normal coronary arteries (37.6%) rather than a single-vessel disease (22.8%), a two-vessel disease (21.8%), or a three-vessel disease (17.8%). When carotid atherosclerosis was present, a normal coronary angiography was uncommon (13.5%), while the detection of a single-vessel disease was more frequent (17.2%), a two-vessel disease was even more frequent (27.6%), and the highest rate described was related to a three-vessel coronary artery disease (CAD) (41.6%). The thickness of the carotid lesion was directly proportional to the number of diseased coronary vessels, and it was also related to the severity of coronary involvement measured by the SYNTAX score. CONCLUSIONS: This study has shown a strong correlation between carotid atherosclerosis and CAD, in terms of extension, and most importantly, severity. It is fundamental to consider a systemic approach to atherosclerosis to obtain an adequate stratification of patients with cardiovascular risk factors and an appropriate therapeutic management and reduce the incidence of adverse events, improving the quality of life and prolonging survival.

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