Risk of Recurrent Stroke in Patients with Symptomatic Mild (20–49% NASCET) Carotid Artery Stenosis

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Abstract

Objective The objective of this study was to evaluate the risk of recurrent ischaemic stroke in patients with ultrasound assessed symptomatic mild carotid artery stenosis (20–49% NASCET) treated solely with modern medical treatment. Method This was a retrospective, observational register cohort study. Three groups of patients were recruited from a database of all carotid Doppler ultrasound examinations performed in the Gothenburg region between 2004 and 2009. Patients with symptomatic mild carotid artery stenosis (n = 162) were compared with patients with asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis (n = 301) of equal degree and a group of patients with surgically (CEA) treated symptomatic moderate or severe carotid artery stenosis (n = 220). Kaplan-Meier estimates and Cox proportional hazard models were used to compare the primary outcome (ipsilateral ischaemic stroke) between groups. Results After a 3 year follow up, the cumulative incidence of recurrent ipsilateral stroke in patients with symptomatic mild carotid artery stenosis was 7.4%. Patients with symptomatic mild carotid artery stenosis had a substantially increased risk of recurrent ipsilateral stroke compared with asymptomatic patients with equal degree of stenosis (HR 5.5. 95% CI 1.8–17.1; p = .003) as also compared with patients with CEA treated symptomatic moderate or severe stenosis (HR 7.8. 95% CI 1.62–37.8; p = .011). Conclusions The present study on patients with symptomatic mild carotid artery stenosis, as determined by Doppler ultrasound, shows that there is still a substantial risk of recurrent stroke in this group.

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Karlsson, L., Kangefjärd, E., Hermansson, S., Strömberg, S., Österberg, K., Nordanstig, A., … Bergström, G. M. L. (2016). Risk of Recurrent Stroke in Patients with Symptomatic Mild (20–49% NASCET) Carotid Artery Stenosis. European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, 52(3), 287–294. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejvs.2016.05.014

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