Internal carotid artery occlusion: clinical and therapeutic implications.
Five hundred patients referred to the Cerebrovascular Clinic of the Johannesburg Hospital were examined by a battery of noninvasive tests and angiography. Thirty four occlusions of the internal carotid artery were found in 32 patients. These patients were prospectively evaluated, including clinical examination, analysis of risk factors and subsequent management. This group of patients was followed up for a mean period of 18 months, and the clinical and laboratory findings and follow up data of this group were compared to an age and sex matched group of patients with matched presenting symptoms, but with patent internal carotid arteries on angiography. Four clinical patterns emerged in the patients with occluded carotid arteries; asymptomatic (3), TIA's (17), initial fixed stroke (7), and TIA with subsequent stroke (5). Follow up of the occluded group revealed 19 patients (59%) with no further symptoms and no indication for surgical intervention. Nine patients required surgery; 4 external carotid endarterectomies (ipsilateral), 4 internal carotid endarterectomies (contralateral), and one extracranial to intracranial bypass. Two were lost to follow up and one died. After 18 months mean follow up 29 patients (91%) were well and asymptomatic. Follow up for a similar period of the non-occluded group revealed three deaths, three late strokes and three myocardial infarctions. None were lost to follow up. After 19 months mean follow up 26 patients (81%) were well with no new neurological symptoms. The prognosis of appropriately treated patients with total occlusion of the internal carotid artery does not appear to be worse than in patients with similar presenting features and patent carotid arteries.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1985 by American Heart Association