Lack of association between carotid plaque hematoma and ischemic cerebral symptoms.
To investigate the association between carotid plaque hematoma and symptoms of cerebral ischemia a retrospective review of 200 consecutive carotid endarterectomies at the Neurological Institute of New York was carried out. Data analyzed included cerebral ischemic symptoms, angiographic findings, preoperative use of antithrombotic agents, and microscopic pathology of endarterectomy specimens. No association was found between ischemic symptoms ipsilateral to the endarterectomy and presence, size, or age of plaque hematomas. Plaque hematomas were less common among patients who took antithrombotic agents preoperatively than among those who did not. The presence of plaque hematoma was associated with angiographic carotid cross-sectional area stenosis of greater than 75%. Patients with stenosis of less than 75% were more likely than those with stenosis of greater than 75% to have ischemic symptoms ipsilateral to the endarterectomy, suggesting that criteria for surgical treatment of carotid atherosclerosis differ for those who are symptomatic vs. those who are asymptomatic. These results demonstrate the limitation of using a surgical series to extend causal inferences about the relation between plaque hematoma and cerebral ischemic symptoms to the general population of people with carotid atherosclerosis.
- Copyright © 1987 by American Heart Association