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Vol. 22, No. 1, 2003
Issue release date: January–February 2003

Risk Factors for Atherosclerosis of Cervicocerebral Arteries: Intracranial versus Extracranial

Suwanwela N.C. · Chutinetr A.
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Objectives: To search for factors determining the site of atherosclerosis of the cervicocerebral arteries in patients from Bangkok (Thailand) with ischemic stroke in the carotid territory. Material and Methods: Patients with the clinical syndrome of stroke or transient ischemic attack in the carotid territory or with ocular stroke were retrospectively studied. They were divided into an intracranial and an extracranial carotid stenosis group based on their vascular imaging. The stroke risk factors were then compared. Results: There were 49 cases with extracranial carotid stenosis and 51 with intracranial stenosis. Among the patients with extracranial stenosis, 98% had associated intracranial disease, whereas none of those with intracranial stenosis had more than 50% of extracranial carotid stenosis. The presence of diabetes mellitus and a history of ischemic heart disease were found to be significantly more prevalent among patients with extracranial internal carotid artery stenosis. Conclusion: Diabetes mellitus as well as a history of ischemic heart disease were found to be more significantly prevalent in patients with combined extracranial internal carotid artery and intracranial stenosis. Extracranial carotid stenosis might represent a more severe atherosclerotic process of the cervicocerebral circulation when compared with intracranial stenosis.

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