Increase in extracranial atherosclerotic carotid lesions in patients with brain ischemia in Japan. An angiographic study.
Atherosclerotic lesions in the cerebral arteries are distributed heterogeneously among different races. Intracranial carotid lesions are reported to be more common than extracranial carotid lesions among Japanese people, which is in sharp contrast to the pattern of cerebral atherosclerosis in whites. However, several Japanese clinicians have the impression, which has yet to be clinically proven, that extracranial carotid diseases are recently increasing in number.
One hundred twenty-one patients who developed ischemic stroke and underwent angiography were examined in the study. Seventy were admitted to our clinic from 1963 to 1965 (early group); the remaining 51 patients were seen from 1989 to 1993 (recent group). Angiographic findings and vascular risk factors were compared between the two groups.
Severe atherosclerotic lesions of the extracranial internal carotid arteries increased significantly during the ensuing 24 years between the end of the first period until the beginning of the second period (from 1965 to 1989), whereas lesions in the intracranial carotid system were similar between the two groups. Severe atherosclerosis in the extracranial internal carotid artery was more frequent in patients with diabetes mellitus, which proved to be the only risk factor that showed a temporal increase.
The proportion of severe atherosclerosis in Japanese patients with brain ischemia has been increasing in the extracranial internal carotid artery, while that in the intracranial carotid system remains unchanged. Such a temporal change may be the result, at least in part, of an increase in the prevalence of diabetes mellitus.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association