Table 1

Characteristics of included Studies

AuthorYearStudy designPopulationCountryPatient numberSex
Men (%)
Age, Mean, yCMBsLarge artery atherosclerosisQuality
Other principal findings associated with CMBs
n (%)
Stenosis>50% n (%)Mean cIMT
mm (mean±SD)
Ochi2009Cross-sectionalOutpatientsJapan4433667.13 T, GRE22 (5.0%)CMB(+):0.85±0.14
B-mode ultrasoundFar wall of the CCA11 items (8)Age, hypertension, baPWV
Miwa2011Cross-sectionalOutpatients, age ≥45 yearsJapan4315269.31.5 T, GRE65 (15.0%)CMB(+):1.14±0.5
UltrasoundNear and far walls, bilateral distal CCA, carotid bifurcation, and ICA11 items (8)Age, fasting glucose, hsCRP, IL-6, IL-18
Chung2014Cross-sectionalAcute ischaemic stroke or TIASouth Korea8345866.83 T, SWI335 (40.2%)468 (28.1%)CTAICA
Thick or contiguous calcification ≥50% of vessel diameter and/or ≥1 cm
11 items (8)Age, hypertension, hs-CRP
Peng2014Cross-sectionalAcute ischaemic strokeChina906166.41.5 T, GRE30 (33.3%)46 (51.1%)TCD, CDUSICA,intracranial and extracranial arteries;
A visible narrowing (>50%)
or significant haemodynamic changes
11 items (8)SBP, DBP
Song2015Cross-sectionalIschaemic strokeKorea2206064.01.5 T, GRE46 (20.9%)93 (42.3%)MRA, CTA, DSAIntracranial and extracranial arteries; Stenosis≥50%11 items (8)Age
Tabara2015Cross-sectionalHealthy middle-aged to elderly individualsJapan13873967.03 T, GRE92 (6.6%)CMB(+):0.84±0.14
B-mode ultrasoundFar wall, bilateral carotid arteries11 items (8)Age, hypertension, T2DM
Ding2015ProspectivePopulation-based, age >65Iceland25124274.61.5 T, GRE463 (18.4%)CMB(+):0.98±0.14
B-mode ultrasoundNear and far walls, bilateral distal CCANOS scale (9)Age, DBP, MAP, carotid arterial strain, DC, YEM
Romero2016CohortFramingham Offspring StudyUSA12434756.91.5 T, GRE101 (8.2%)20 (1.6%)CDUSDistal CCA, carotid artery bulb and ICA; Stenosis≥50%NOS scale (9)
  • baPWV, brachial-to-ankle pulse wave velocity; CCA, common carotid artery; CDUS, carotid duplex ultrasound; cIMT, carotid intima-media thickness; CTA, CT angiography; DBP, diastolic blood pressure; DC, distensibility coefficient; DSA, digital subtraction angiography; GRE, gradient-recalled echo sequences; hsCRP, high-sensitivity C reactive protein; ICA, internal carotid artery; IL, interleukin; MAP, mean arterial pressure; MRA, MR angiography; NOS scale, Newcastle–Ottawa scale; SBP, systolic blood pressure; SWI, susceptibility-weighted imaging; T2DM, type 2 diabetes mellitus; TCD, transcranial Doppler; TIA, transient ischaemic attack; YEM, Young elastic modulus.