Prognosis of asymptomatic stenosis of the middle cerebral artery

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The risk of ischaemic events in asymptomatic intracranial atherosclerosis is unknown. OBJECTIVE: To follow up patients with asymptomatic atherosclerotic middle cerebral artery stenosis (MCAS) to evaluate the long term stroke risk in its territory. METHODS: Consecutive white patients with asymptomatic atherosclerotic MCAS were enrolled. Patients with MCAS of possible or proven non-atherosclerotic origin were excluded. MCAS was assessed by transcranial colour duplex sonography according to published angiography validated criteria. Medical treatment was given at the discretion of the treating physician. RESULTS: 50 patients were included and followed for (mean (SD)) 815 (351) days; three were lost to follow up. MCAS was < 50% in 38 and > or = 50% in 12. No patient suffered an ischaemic event in the MCAS territory; one had a transient ischaemic attack in the contralateral hemisphere. Three patients died, one from a subdural haematoma in the contralateral hemisphere, and two from non-stroke-related causes. Medical treatment at baseline included antithrombotic drugs in 42 cases (antiplatelet agent, n = 39; warfarin, n = 3), and statins in 22; at the end of follow up 45 of the 47 survivors were on antithrombotic drugs (antiplatelet agent, n = 37; warfarin, n = 8), and 30 were on statins. CONCLUSIONS: Asymptomatic MCAS of atherosclerotic origin appears to have a benign long term prognosis with a low risk of ipsilateral stroke in medically treated white patients.

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  • Neurology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1300-1303
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Volume75
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Neurology, Malmö (013027010)