Carotid stenosis in lacunar stroke.
The prevalence of extracranial carotid stenosis in patients with a clinical syndrome of lacunar stroke has not been extensively studied using noninvasive methods. We performed carotid duplex sonography on 168 patients referred to the neurosonology laboratory with a diagnosis of ischemic stroke. Strokes were independently classified as lacunar or nonlacunar hemispheric infarction without knowledge of the ultrasound results. We excluded patients with infarcts that were clearly vertebrobasilar, presumed to be cardioembolic, or had occurred greater than 1 year earlier, and patients for whom classification of the nature and location of the event was not possible. Fifty-five patients had lacunar and 54 had nonlacunar stroke. No differences in age, sex, distribution, or prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, prior ischemia, or Hispanic surname existed between the two groups. Tobacco use was more frequent in the nonlacunar group (p less than 0.01). The prevalence of important extracranial carotid stenosis (greater than or equal to 50% diameter reduction) in the lacunar stroke group was 13% (seven of 55) in the ipsilateral and 4% (two of 55) in the contralateral carotid artery. Of the 54 patients with nonlacunar hemispheric stroke, 41% (22) had ipsilateral (p less than 0.01) and 26% (14) had contralateral (p less than 0.01) carotid stenosis. This study suggests that important carotid stenosis is infrequent among patients presenting with a clinical syndrome of lacunar stroke. These data impact on decisions regarding cerebrovascular work-up in such patients.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association