Intima-media thickness and regional cérébral blood flow in older adults

Jitka Sojkova, Samer S. Najjar, Lori L. Beason-Held, E. Jeffrey Metter, Christos Davatzikos, Michael A. Kraut, Alan B. Zonderman, Susan M. Resnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose-The relationship between the thickness of the carotid intima (IMT) and brain function remains unclear in those without clinical manifestations of cerebrovascular disease. Understanding the neural correlates of this vascular measure is important in view of emerging evidence linking poorer cognitive performance with increased IMT in individuals without clinical cerebrovascular disease. Methods-Seventy-three participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (70.9 years; SD, 7.3) were evaluated with carotid artery ultrasound and resting [O]H2O positron emission tomography. Results-After adjusting for age, gender, and gray and white matter volumes in the regions where IMT is related to regional cérébral blood flow (rCBF), we found that higher IMT was associated with lower rCBF in lingual, inferior occipital, and superior temporal regions. Higher IMT was also associated with higher rCBF in medial frontal gyrus, putamen, and hippocampal-uncal regions (P=0.001). Whereas women had lower IMT (P=0.01) and mean arterial pressure (P=0.05) than men, they showed more robust associations between IMT and rCBF. The relationship between IMT and rCBF was only minimally affected by additional adjustment for mean arterial pressure. Conclusions-IMT is related to patterns of resting rCBF in older adults without clinical manifestations of cerebrovascular disease, suggesting that there are regional differences in CBF that are associated with subclinical vascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-279
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • Aging
  • Brain
  • Carotid artery
  • Common carotid artery
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Regional blood flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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