Beneficial effects of colestipol-niacin therapy on the common carotid artery. Two- and four-year reduction of intima-media thickness measured by ultrasound.
BACKGROUND Controlled clinical trials have reported treatment effects evaluated with serial imaging in coronary and femoral but not cervical arteries. The Cholesterol Lowering Atherosclerosis Study, a coronary, cervical, and femoral angiographic trial of colestipol plus niacin, included a pilot study of standardized carotid ultrasound imaging.
METHODS AND RESULTS Seventy-eight subjects had ultrasound studies at baseline, 2, and 4 years. Twenty-four drug and 22 placebo subjects had carotid ultrasound images at baseline, 2, and 4 years with matching cervical angiograms. Computer image processing was applied to ultrasound images of common carotid (far wall) and cervical angiograms. Computer operators were blind to treatment group. Carotid ultrasound measurements were tested for treatment effects and compared with measurements of atherosclerosis in coronary and cervical angiograms. Drug subjects showed significant progressive reduction in carotid thickness at 2 (P = .0001) and 4 years (P = .0001); placebo subjects significantly increased wall thickness at 2 and 4 years. Reduced levels of apolipoprotein B and increased levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol and apolipoprotein C-III were significant predictors of carotid wall thinning. Ultrasound-measured carotid intima-media thickness was correlated at baseline with visually read coronary angiographic stenosis and at 2 years with a robust computer measurement of mild carotid atherosclerosis.
CONCLUSIONS Common carotid intima-media thickening can be reduced by colestipol-niacin treatment. Two-year image-processed carotid ultrasound trials can provide adequate power with 50 subjects per group to test for this treatment effect.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association