Bilateral comparison of the vascular pattern of the superficial temporal artery based on digital subtraction angiography
Using Doppler ultrasound, we have measured the calibers of the branch arteries of the aortic arch in 430 subjects (230 men and 200 women; age range: 18 to 84 years). These included: the brachiocephalic trunk, the subclavian arteries, the common carotid arteries, the internal and external carotid arteries, and the vertebral arteries. Statistical analysis of the values obtained yielded a number of interesting results. The average caliber of the arteries of the women examined was lower than that of the men. Nonetheless, the statistical difference in the arterial diameters of the two sexes was not significant, with the exception of the left subclavian artery. In the case of this artery, its caliber was larger among the men than the women. However, this relationship was not confirmed in the right subclavian artery. The left vertebral artery was larger than the right one. This difference was statistically significant among the women (p < 0.05), but not among the men (p = ns). The right subclavian artery was larger than the left one by a statistically significant margin (p < 0.05), but the statistical significance may be accounted for by the values in the women alone (p < 0.02). When the men were considered separately, the difference between right and left did not achieve statistical significance (p = ns). There was no statistically significant correlation between arterial caliber and either height or body weight. Furthermore, the caliber of the arteries examined increased with age, but not in a statistically significant manner. The mean values of the single arteries examined were lower than those described by the principal investigators of the cadaveric studies to which we have referred. However, with three exceptions, the differences were not statistically significant. In the case of the subclavian and internal and external carotid arteries, our values were lower by a statistically significant margin.