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A Review of Surrogate Markers for Atherosclerosis: Flow Mediated Dilatation; Carotid Intima Media Thickness; Pulse Wave Velocity; Ankle Brachial Index

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Atherosclerotic disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. The early detection of preclinical atherosclerosis with non-invasive tools has become paramount in order to identify the vulnerable patient and provide aggressive prevention measures. A valid surrogate marker should not only be proven to correlate with underlying atherosclerosis but also needs to be accurate, reproducible and inexpensive.

There are currently a number of methods that are widely used for the detection of preclinical atherosclerosis. In this review, we chose 4 methods for discussion namely, (1) Flow-mediated dilatation, (2) Carotid intima media thickness, (3) Pulse wave velocity, and, (4) Ankle brachial index. Clinical evidence concerning their detection of underlying atherosclerosis and their predictive value of cardiovascular events together with their individual drawbacks is discussed.

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Keywords: Atherosclerosis; ankle brachial index; carotid intima-media thickness; flow-mediated dilatation; pulse wave velocity; surrogate marker

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-11-01

More about this publication?
  • Vascular Disease Prevention publishes reviews as well as original papers to update all those concerned with this topic at the clinical or scientific level. In addition to clinically relevant topics, we consider reviews and original papers dealing with the more scientific aspects of vascular disease prevention. This includes the evaluation of emerging vascular risk factors, research dealing with the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and the investigation of new treatment options both at the clinical and scientific level (e.g. epidemiology, patient-based studies, experimental models, in vitro experiments or molecular research). Therefore, another function of Vascular Disease Prevention is to bridge the gap between clinical practice and ongoing laboratory-based research.

    In particular, we welcome critical reviews and comments on recent trials. This is a topic that requires regular updates because of the large number of trials published every year.

    Debates are encouraged in the correspondence section of this journal.
    The editorial structure of Vascular Disease Prevention is set up with the aim of dealing with the submitted material as rapidly as possible. Specialist editors will provide a more expert and rapid assessment unlike a more centralized editorial structure.
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