Abstract 2608: Aortic Wall Thickness in Multi Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA): Magnetic Resonance Imaging Evaluation of 1053 Cases
Introduction: Measurements of arterial thickness are a useful tool for predicting cardiovascular events. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between aortic wall thickness and traditional cardiovascular risk factors in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) cohort.
Methods: 1053 participants of MESA study with cardiac MR imaging were selected randomly. Double inversion recovery fast spin echo images of the thoracic aorta were obtained at the level of the pulmonary artery. Aortic wall thickness measurements were performed at four standard positions; 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. These four measurements were averaged to calculate average wall thickness (AWT). Maximum wall thickness (MWT) was measured three times per slice, and the average of these was defined as the MWT.
Results: Mean (SD) AWT and MWT were 2.35 (0.50) and 3.51 (0.84) mm. Both AWT and MWT rose with age; for each year higher age, AWT and MWT were each 0.02 mm greater (both p-values <0.01). Men had higher MWT than women (3.60 vs. 3.43, p<0.01) and higher AWT (2.38 vs. 2.33, p=0.10). Participants with hypertension had greater mean AWT (2.45 vs. 2.23, p<0.01) and MWT (3.61 vs. 3.41, p<0.01) than participants with normal blood pressure. Mean AWT was also higher in untreated versus treated diabetic participants (difference: 0.30 mm, p<0.01). Current smokers had higher mean AWT (difference: 0.06 mm, p=0.05) and MWT (difference: 0.17 mm, p=0.01) than nonsmokers. There was no association between aortic wall thickness and family history of myocardial infarction, serum cholesterol, LDL, and HDL levels. In multiple regression analysis, older age and hypertension were significantly associated with mean AWT, while older age, male gender, and higher blood pressure were associated with higher mean MWT.
Conclusion: Older age and higher blood pressure are both associated with increased average aortic wall thickness; while maximal wall thickness is also associated with male gender.