Lifestyle & Nutrition Blog
Woodlands Wellness now offers the CIMT (CIMT stands for Carotid intima media thickness and refers to the thickness of the inner layers of the artery.) test which is recommended by both American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology.
What is the cardio health test?
The cardio health test is an ultrasound imaging study of the carotid arteries that is performed on both sides of your neck. Using a handheld ultrasound probe, we scan the carotid arteries in the neck to detect hidden plaque buildup and increased thickness of the artery wall. The entire test is painless and there is no exposure to dangerous radiation.
What is Plaque and why is early detection important?
Plaque is a fatty buildup within the wall of an artery and is the result of a disease process called atherosclerosis. A plaque develops within the intima layer of the artery at a location where it has been damaged. During the process, white blood cells enter the artery wall and begin to accumulate fat and cholesterol, creating fatty (foam) cells. Over time, this fatty plaque buildup forms a lump that doctors call an atheroma. This fatty plaque may grow larger as muscle cells, fibers, calcium and cell debris are deposited. An early sign of plaque formation is a thickening of the arterial wall. As plaques continue to grow in size, they begin to bulge into the lumen of the artery and produce no symptoms until they rupture. Plaques are prone to rupture and clotting, which may further limit the blood flow through the lumen or lead to other serious conditions, such as heart attack and stroke. These plaques can remain hidden for many years without causing pain or any symptoms. Unfortunately, in many people, the first symptom of these "hidden" plaques is a heart attack, stroke or sudden cardiac death. Early detection is important to help prevent long term medical conditions.
What else does this test look for?
In addition to looking for the presence of plaque, we will be looking for increase in cardio wall thickness. The inner wall of the carotid artery has two layers, the intima and the media. The measurement of artery wall thickness is known as carotic intima-media thickness or CIMT. Increased CIMT indicates the presence of atherosclerosis, and is a strong predictor of future cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke, the middle-aged and older individuals.
This simple, ultrasound scanning takes only a few minutes and is done in our office. The procedure is comfortable, non-invasive and there is no x-ray exposure. Your CIMT score will inform Dr. Davis about the presence of undetected atherosclerosis and provide her with a strong prediction of future cardiovascular events. Your cardiovascular risk results are given to you in a clear; easy to read report that provides you:
Woodlands Wellness also offers a full cardiac wellness package available to you now!
Early detection allows you to start an early treatment plan before symptoms develop.
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