Measurement of the carotis intima-media thickness (CIMT)using high-resolution ultrasound is an excellent method for determining the risk of arteriosclerosis, since this correlates well with the condition of the vascular system. The thickness of the intima-media is determined by the ratio of the inner and middle vessel wall thickness. The measurement is carried out on the common carotid artery (neck artery) just below its bifurcation. The normal value of the CIMT is up to 0.7 mm. Where measurements of the intima-media are greater than 0.8 mm, there is an increased risk of arteriosclerosis with an elevated danger of heart attack and stroke.
CIMT measurement is particularly important before commencing hormone replacement therapy during the menopause.
Where the CIMT is normal, hormone replacement therapy initiated correctly by a hormone specialist can have a protective effect on the blood vessels and the development of arteriosclerosis. If the IMT is markedly increased, however, the opposite effect can occur. In this case, estrogen therapy should not be given and drug-based treatment may need to be initiated to protect against heart attacks and strokes.
We recommend that the intima-media thickness be measured before and during hormone replacement therapy and if there is an increased risk (e.g. being considerably overweight, a family history of heart attacks, strokes, fat metabolism disorders or diabetes mellitus, or if there are abnormal laboratory parameters on checkup).
To ensure we have enough time, we generally allocate appointments for a carotid ultrasound scan at the end of our consulting sessions. You can book this yourself online or call us to arrange an appointment on: +49 (0)89 129 3229.
You can inquire about costs when you register (reimbursement for privately insured patients, self-pay for patients with statutory insurance cover).