Journal «Angiology and Vascular Surgery» • 

2004 • VOLUME 10 • №1

THE STATUS OF CAROTID ARTERIES AND THE MAIN VASCULAR RISK FACTORS IN CEREBRAL INFARCTIONS OF "ANTERIOR CIRCULATION"

F.I. Todua, D.G. Gachechiladze, M.V. Akhvlediani
Department of Magnetic Resonance Tomography, Department of Ultrasound Diagnosis, Clinicodiagnostic Laboratory, Institute of Radiation and Interventional Diagnosis, Academy of Sciences of Georgia,
Tbilisi, Georgia

The aim of the work was to examine the degree of carotid stenosis, the structure of atherosclerotic plaques, and the predominance of the main vascular risk factors in patients with multiple lacunar and comparatively large "non-lacunar" cerebral infarctions. A study WAS made of the data on 110 patients (mean age 62.5 years) with multiple cerebral infarctions revealed by MRT and with stenoses of the internal carotid artery (ICA) of varying degrees of severity.

Minor lacunar infarctions (LI) were present in 62 cases whereas comparatively large "non-lacunar" infarctions (NLI) in 48 cases. All the patients underwent standard neurologic examination, laboratory analyses, MRT of the brain with angiography (MRA) of the extra-intrecrania1 vessels, transcranial Doppler (TCD), and examination of the heart for revealing the cardioembolic nature of cerebral infarctions. Among patients with both LI and NLI, arterial hypertension was the most frequently occurring risk factor in 53 (85%) and 35 (73%) patients respectively.

In the study groups, there were no appreciable differences in the incidence of high hematocrit, hyperfibrinogenemia, tobacco-smoking, and diabetes mellitus. Patients with NLI demenstrated hypercholesterolemia, CAD and atherosclerosis of the peripheral vessels significantly more often (p<0.05).

In the patient group with NLI, hemodynamically significant stenoses of the ICA were predominant: in 18 (37.5%) patients, they were moderate, in 12 (25%) critical, and 7 (14.6%) patients had occlusions whereas in LI, the portion of critical stenoses and ICA occlusions was cooperatively low – in 11 (17.7%) and in 5 (8.1%) patients respectively. Both groups showed the thickening of the complex of the medial CCA layer.

Ultrasonopraphy of the vessels has revealed that in patients with NLI and LI, there predominated potentially embologenic plaques, namely in 69% and in 53% of cases, respectively.

Our investigations allow to assume that arterial hypertension is the most frequently occurring risk factor of cerebral infarction (both minor lacunar and large "non-lacunar").

Factors such as CAD, hypercholesterolemia, DM, hemorheological disorders, end tobacco-smoking are likely to have an unfavorable impact on both general and cerebral hemodynamics as well as on the microcirculatory bed whereby being on the whole important risk factors of cerebral infarction.

Hemodynamically significant stenoses, especially critical ones, occlusions, and embologenic plaques of the ICA are pathogenetically closely linked with the development of "non-lacunar" cerebral infarctions. At the same time they, under certain conditions, may become the cause of multiple lacunar cerebral infarctions.

KEY WORDS: cerebral infarction, risk factors, hemodynamic significance of the degree of internal carotid stenosis, atherosclerotic plaque structure.

P. 76

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