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Open Access Research article

Recurrent stroke risk is high after a single cerebrovascular event in patients with symptomatic 50-99% carotid stenosis: a cohort study

Elias Johansson1* and Per Wester2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience and Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, 901 82 Umeå, Sweden

2 Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden

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BMC Neurology 2014, 14:23  doi:10.1186/1471-2377-14-23

Published: 4 February 2014

Abstract

Background

Recurrent TIAs are thought to signal a high stroke risk. The aim of this study is to examine if repeated ischemic events increase the risk of recurrent ipsilateral stroke among patients with symptomatic 50-99% carotid stenosis.

Methods

This is a secondary analysis of the ANSYSCAP study, where we analyzed recurrent ipsilateral ischemic stroke before carotid endarterectomy in 230 consecutive patients with symptomatic 50-99% carotid stenosis. Here, we further analyzed the patients according to if they were clinically stable, unstable or highly unstable – respectively defined as having 0, 1 or ≥2 additional ipsilateral events within 7 days before and/or after the ischemic cerebrovascular event for which the patient sought health care (the presenting event).

Results

Of the 230 included patients, 155 (67%) were clinically stable, 47 (20%) were clinically unstable and 28 (12%) were clinically highly unstable. Eighteen patients suffered a stroke within 7 days; of these patients, 12 (67%) were clinically stable. The risk of recurrent ipsilateral ischemic stroke within 7 days was equally high for clinically stable (8%), unstable (9%) and highly unstable (7%) patients. Fourteen patients had 3–11 additional ipsilateral events; of these patients, only one suffered a recurrent ipsilateral ischemic stroke.

Conclusions

The seemingly clinical stable symptomatic 50-99% carotid stenosis patients without additional ipsilateral events have a high risk of recurrent stroke. Patients without additional events should undergo preoperative evaluation and carotid endarterectomy in the same expedient manner as patients with additional events.

Keywords:
Stroke; Carotid stenosis; Risk