Stiffness and diameter of the common carotid artery and abdominal aorta in women

Åsa Rydén Ahlgren, Flemming Hansen, Björn Sonesson, Toste Länne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vascular disease is differentiated throughout the vascular regions with aorta more prone to dilatation and with peripheral arteries more prone to occlusive disease. In this study, we investigated the diameter and distensibility in the common carotid artery (CCA) and abdominal aorta (AO) in healthy females of varying ages to assess potential differences in the aging process. The diameter and pulsatile diameter change of the CCA and AO in 66 healthy Caucasian females aged 8 to 79 y were examined using an ultrasound phase-locked echo-tracking technique. Blood pressure was obtained by the auscultatory method. Arterial stiffness (beta) was calculated. The diameter of both CCA and AO increases, not only in childhood, but also in adult women. The dilatation in adults (25 to 75 y) seems to be more pronounced in the AO (23%) than in the CCA (11%). Stiffness (beta) is higher in the CCA than AO before 20 y of age (p < 0.05). Stiffness increases with aging in both arterial regions, but the increase is initially somewhat higher in the AO, which means that no differences between the CCA and AO are seen from 25 y onward. In conclusion, this study demonstrates regional differences in diameter change and stiffness in the CCA and AO, and implies that the AO is more prone to age-related changes of the arterial wall than the CCA. These differences, however, are not as marked as previously reported in males.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)983-988
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1997

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Emergency medicine/Medicine/Surgery (013240200), Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine Unit (013242320)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging


  • Ultrasound
  • Ultrasonic echo-tracking
  • Aorta
  • Common carotid artery
  • Stiffness
  • Distensibility
  • Females
  • Arterial diameter


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