Published: 2021-08-21

Carotid artery diameter assessment in men and women and the relation to age, sex and body mass index using ultrasonography

Magaji G. Ojaare, Terkimbi I. Annongu, Chia D. Msuega, Hameed O. Mohammad, Abubakar Farati, Angbalaga Alexander, Bulus P. Umer


Background: Carotid artery dimensions are increasingly used for detecting early atherosclerosis and predicting clinical complications. Aim was to explore relationships between gender, age and body mass index (BMI) and the diameters of the common carotid artery (CCA) and internal carotid artery (ICA) using ultrasonography.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study carried out at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital between February-October, 2011. The 400 adult males and females above 18 years underwent carotid artery ultrasonography for measurement of the IMT of the common and internal carotid arteries. The influence of age, sex, weight, height, and the basal metabolic index (BMI) was investigated.

Results: There were 239 (59.80%) males and 161 (40.20%) females aged between 18 to 81 years (Mean±SD, 36.74±14.79 years). The mean±SD diameters for right common carotid artery (RCCA) and left common carotid artery (LCCA) were 6.39±0.71mm and 6.28±0.74mm respectively. The right internal carotid artery (RICA) and left internal carotid artery (LICA) had mean±SD diameters of 4.63±0.63 mm and 4.61±0.63 mm respectively. The luminal diameters of the carotid arteries increased significantly with age and increased BMI. The luminal diameters of the CCA and ICA were significantly smaller in women than in men.

Conclusions: Common carotid and internal carotid artery luminal diameter tends to be larger in men than women among adults and increases with age and BMI. There is no difference in the luminal diameter between the left and right carotid artery. 


Carotid diameter, Age, Sex, BMI, Ultrasonography

Full Text:



Marsha L, Rishi S, Kathryn M, Richard E, David J, Gregory W et al. Common carotid artery wall thickness and external diameter as predictors of prevalent and incident cardiac event in a large population study. Cardiovascular ultrasound. 2007;120:5-11.

Grandy S, Bazzarre T, Cleeman J, Kannel W, Krauss R, Krumholz H et al. Conference V: Beyond secondary prevention: Identifying the high-risk patient for primary prevention: Medical office assessment: Writing Group 1. Circulation. 2000;101:E3-11.

K. Karthick, J. A. Vasanthakumar. Carotid doppler ultrasonography evaluation in patients with stroke. IAIM, 2018;5(3):23-2

Brain S. Carotid ultrasound. eMedicine 2009. At file:///c:/Documents and settings/USER/my documents/carotid ultrasound eMedicine clinical procures htm. Accessed on 30/12/09.

Jaroslaw K, Michal A, Scott E, Kasner, John W, Andrzej U et al. Carotid artery diameter in men and women and the relation to body and neck size. Stroke. 2006;37:1103-5.

Hüseyin O, Hakan A, Selami S, Erkin O. Effects of overweight on luminal diameter, flow velocity and intima-media thickness of carotid arteries. TSR. 2006;12:142-6.

Kerstin J-U, Mats J-U, Jan J. Carotid artery diameter correlates with risk factors for cardiovascular disease in a population of 55-year-old subjects. Stroke. 1999;30:1572-6.

Denarie M, Gariepy J, Chironi G, Massomeau M, Laskiri F, Salomon J et al. Distribution of ultrasonographyically-assessed dimension of common carotid arteries in healthy adults of both sexes. Science Direct. 2000;148:297-302.

Paul SS. Ultrasound of the carotid and vertebral arteries. Bri med Bull. 2000;56:346-66.

Mira L, Katz M. Carotid duplex imaging 2009. 2009.

Ribeiro RA, Riberto JAS, Rodriques FOA, Caetano GA, Fazan VPS. Common carotid artery bifurcation levels related to clinically relevant anatomical landmarks. J Morphol 2006;24(3):413-6.

Burhan Y, Besir E, Ali T. Cerebral blood flow measurements of the extracranial carotid and vertebral arteries with Doppler ultrasonography in healthy adults. TSR. 2009;15(4):1305-3825.

Limbu YR, Gurung G, Rajbhandari R, Regmi SR. Assessment of carotid artery dimensions by ultrasound in non-smoker healthy adults of both sexes. Nepal Med Coll J. 2006;8(3):2003.

Salonen R, Salonen JT. Progression of carotid artherosclerosis and its determinants: a population-based ultrasonography study. Artherosclerosis. 1990;81:33-40.

Polak JF, Kronmal RA, Tell GS, Oleary DH, Savage PJ, Gardin JM et al. Compensatory increase in common carotid artery diameter-Relation to blood pressure and artery intima-media thickness in older adults. Stroke. 1996;27:2012-15.

Joseph F, Polak, Richard A, Grethe S, Daniel H, Peter J, Julius M, Gale H, Nemat O. Compensatory incrase in common carotid artery diameter. Stroke aha j. 2012;27:2012-5.