Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and carotid intima-media thickening in patients with newly detected primary hypertension

Eugenia Marchesi, Alessandra Martignoni, Carmine Tinelli, Valentina Ravetta, Tullia Resasco, Massimo Piredda, Andrea Defrancisci, Giorgio Finardi, Guido Perani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To investigate the correlation between ultrasonographically evaluated intima-media thickness (IMT) of common carotid artery (CCA) and cardiovascular risk factors for subjects with newly detected, uncomplicated and untreated primary hypertension. Methods: The study population consisted of 200 subjects (123 men and 77 women, aged 46 ± 7.5 years). Blood pressure was measured in the clinical setting and by 24 h noninvasive ambulatory monitoring. Fasting levels of blood glucose, plasma lipids and lipoproteins, fibrinogen and plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1 were measured. Ultrasound examination included measurement of far-wall intima-media complex of CCA and morphologic evaluation of occurrence of plaques in carotid and femoral bifurcations. Results: The prevalence of greater than normal IMT (mean IMT ≥ 0.80 mm) was 22%. Significant univariate correlations to the dichotomy between normal and greater than normal mean IMT were detected for age, smoking, level of LDL cholesterol, level of PAI-1 and total ultrasonographic score. Multivariate logistic regression analysis confirmed the associations between greater than normal mean IMT and plasma concentrations of LDL cholesterol and PAI-1 as well as total ultrasonographic score. Conclusion Greater than normal IMT of CCA was more strictly related to other cardiovascular risk factors than it was to blood pressure and was strongly associated with the occurrence of atherosclerotic plaques in carotid and femoral arteries. The role of PAI-1 in intima-media thickening that is emerging suggests that fibrinolytic balance is an important determinant of vessel-wall homeostasis in hypertensive patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-369
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Risk
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Hypertension
  • Intima-media thickness
  • Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1
  • Ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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