Color-coded Doppler sonography of the carotid arteries

  • S. Trattnig
  • P. Hübsch


The relationship between extracranial carotid atherosclerosis, transient ischemic attacks and cerebral infarction is similar to that between coronary atherosclerosis and angina pectoris, myocardial infarction and sudden death. The prevalence of internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis of any degree in subjects devoid of any cerebrovascular symptoms or signs is low in both sexes prior to 65 years of age. It is only 2.4% in males between the ages of 55 and 64 years, but it increases sharply with age, reaching 30.3% for stenosis of less than 50% and 6.1% for stenosis greater than 50% in males aged 75–84 years. The prevalence of minimal lesions (plaques causing less than 15% diameter reduction) is high: 32.1% in males aged 45–54 years and 48.5% in the 75 to 84 year age range. In all studies age is the most important risk factor for carotid atherosclerosis. Hypertension, diabetes mellitus, cigarette smoking and hyperlipidemia have also been associated with increased risk for cerebrovascular atherosclerosis. A recent study (Niederkorn, 1991) found a significant association between fibrinogen levels (as well as age) and the presence of carotid stenosis in a group of 125 asymptomatic subjects. Earlier studies had established a significant correlation between fibrinogen levels and symptomatic carotid artery disease (Lechner, 1987). It has been suggested that elevated fibrinogen may be an independent risk factor for stroke and may have value as a simple screening test to help establish the probability of early atherosclerotic carotid artery disease in asymptomatic patients even in the absence of other classic risk factors (Wilhelmson, 1984). Progression of stenosis (mean follow-up interval 26 months) was associated in Niederkorn’s 1991 report with lower HDL cholesterol levels (average 44.5 ± 13 mg/di) than in subjects showing no interval increase in vessel narrowing (average values 57.9 ± 18 mg/dl).


Carotid Artery Internal Carotid Artery Flow Reversal External Carotid Artery Carotid Endarterectomy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  • S. Trattnig
  • P. Hübsch

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