Ultrasound and Clinical Predictors of Recurrent Ischemia in Symptomatic Internal Carotid Artery Occlusion
Background and Purpose—Occlusion of the internal carotid artery puts patients at risk of recurrent ischemic events because of hemodynamic compromise. Our goal was to characterize clinical and duplex parameters indicating patients at risk of recurrent ischemia.
Methods—We retrospectively identified patients with symptomatic internal carotid artery occlusion. Clinical characteristics and ultrasound parameters, including collateral networks, were analyzed. Predictors for recurrent ipsilateral ischemia were investigated by Cox regression analysis.
Results—Of 68 patients, at least 1 recurrent ischemic event within the same vascular territory was observed in 14 patients (20.6%) within 2 to 92 days (median, 29.5 days). The median follow-up period was 6 months. Diabetes mellitus and previous transient ischemic attack were associated with recurrence, as was activation of the maximum number of collateral pathways on transcranial ultrasound (28.6% versus 5.6%; P=0.03). Furthermore, flow in the posterior cerebral arteries was higher in patients with recurrence in ipsilateral and contralateral posterior cerebral artery P2 segments (76 IQR 37.5 versus 59, IQR 22.5 cm/s and 68, IQR 35.6 versus 52, IQR 21 cm/s; P<0.01 and 0.02).
Conclusions—Flow increases in both posterior cerebral artery P2 segments suggest intensified compensatory efforts when other collaterals are insufficient. Together with the presence of diabetes mellitus and a history of transient ischemic attack, this duplex parameter indicates that patients with internal carotid artery are at particular risk of recurrent ischemia.
- Received August 21, 2015.
- Revision received August 21, 2015.
- Accepted August 24, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.