Predicting Cardiovascular Risk With A CIMT Test

Carotid Intima-Media Thickness Testing

By: Chad Borys, ND, LAc

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women worldwide. Often labeled the “silent killer” heart disease can progress for decades with little to no symptoms, until a major cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack, stroke, or sudden death. The good news is that heart disease is preventable and even reversible if detected and treated early. 

There are several ways to assess the health of the heart and arteries years before a devastating event disrupts your life or those of your loved ones. One of these tests is called a carotid intima-media thickness test or CIMT.

CIMT is a well-established, safe, and non-invasive test to evaluate for atherosclerosis and plaque formations in the arteries years before they might cause symptoms or future cardiovascular events. 

This testing is done periodically in our office. During the CIMT procedure, a thick gel (similar to hairstyling gel) is applied to the skin of the neck. This gel helps to conduct sound waves from an ultrasound transducer applied to the neck into the body. Ultrasounds emit sound waves, which bounce off the arteries, creating an “echo” which is used to generate a picture of the arteries and their relative thickness. The CIMT test measures the thickness of the inner two layers of the carotid artery (the intima and media) where plaque formation and inflammation occur. 

Information from the CIMT is then used to assess the “age” of the carotid arteries (which may be younger or older than your actual age), and informs us about the overall health of the cardiovascular system. Armed with this information we can then develop an approach for long-term prevention and improvement of cardiovascular health.

No preparation is required for the CIMT.
You may resume normal activities immediately following the test. 
Testing takes 10-15 minutes. 

NEXT TEST DATE: May 4th from 9 am - noon. Limited spots, so please schedule in advance at (541) 716-1040.

COST: $200 for non-member patients, $175 for membership patients. 


  1. Nambi et al. (2010). Common Carotid Artery Intima Media Thickness Alone Is Comparable To Carotid Intima Media Thickness Of All Carotid Artery Segments In Improving Coronary Heart Disease Risk Prediction In The Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities (ARIC) Study. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 55(10). doi:10.1016/s0735-1097(10)61285-5

  2. Carotid Intima-Media Thickness Test. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2018, from