Does the internal jugular vein affect the elasticity of the common carotid artery?Cardiovasc Ultrasound. 2016 Sep 17; 14(1):40.CU
Arterial stiffness is an early marker of atherosclerosis. The carotid arteries are easily accessible by ultrasound and are commonly used for the evaluation of atherosclerosis development. However, this stiffness assessment is based on the elastic properties of the artery, which may be influenced by the adjacent internal jugular vein (IJV). The aim of the present study is to evaluate the influence of internal jugular vein morphology on the stiffness of the common carotid artery.
Bilateral carotid ultrasound was performed in 248 individuals. When no carotid plaque was detected (90.9 % cases), the distensibility coefficient and β - stiffness index were calculated. The global and segmental circumferential strain parameters of the carotid wall were evaluated with 2D-Speckle Tracking. The cross-sectional area of the IJV and degree of its adherence to the carotid wall (angle of adherence) were measured.
The morphology of the IJV did not influence the standard stiffness parameters nor the global circumferential strain. However, segmental analysis found the sector adjacent to the IJV to have significantly higher strain parameters than its opposite counterpart. In addition, the strain correlated significantly and positively with IJV cross-sectional area and angle of adherence.
The movement of the carotid artery wall caused by the passage of the pulse wave is not homogeneous. The greatest strain is observed in a segment adjacent to the IJV, and the degree of wall deformation is associated with the size of the vein and the degree of its adherence.