Intracranial internal carotid artery stenosis: longterm prognosis.
Sixty-six patients with greater than or equal to 50% stenosis of an intracranial internal carotid artery (IICA) were followed-up for an average of 3.9 years. Eighteen patients (27.3%) experienced ischemic events; 8 (12.1%) had isolated TIA and 10 (15.2%) a stroke. The observed stroke rate for patients 35 years and older are 13 times the expected infarction rate for a normal population. Patients with tandem extracranial stenosis had a greater risk of stroke than patients with isolated IICA stenosis. Thirty-three patients (50%) died during follow-up and 55% of all deaths were cardiac related. The observed 5 year survival rate was 60% compared to an expected rate of 87%. Patients with IICA stenosis had a higher risk of stroke and death compared to a previously reported referral population with ICA occlusion. IICA stenosis is a marker of extensive cerebrovascular and systemic atherosclerotic disease, especially coronary artery disease.
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