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Medicina (Buenos Aires)

Print version ISSN 0025-7680


SPOSATO, Luciano A.; RICCIO, Patricia M.  and  KLEIN, Francisco R.. Diagnosis and treatment of asymptomatic extracranial atherosclerotic carotid artery disease. Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2011, vol.71, n.6, pp.561-565. ISSN 0025-7680.

The reported prevalence of asymptomatic atherosclerotic disease of the extracranial internal carotid artery is up to 12.5%. Carotid angioplasty has not yet proven safe and effective enough to prevent ischemic stroke in these patients. Randomized studies showed that carotid endarterectomy is superior to medical therapy in reducing the risk of ischemic stroke when performed by surgical teams with complication rates (stroke or death) of less than 3%. However, recruitment of these patients began more than 25 years ago, when the use of antiplatelet agents was lower than today, the treatment of hypertension was less effective than currently, and statins were not considered as key components of vascular prevention strategies. Optimizing the quality of medical treatment in recent decades has led to a significant reduction in stroke risk in patients not undergoing surgery. Based on these observations and with the exception of specific cases, medical therapy is the treatment of choice for patients with asymptomatic atherosclerotic disease of the extracranial carotid arteries.

Keywords : Carotid; Stenosis; Diagnosis; Treatment; Endarterectomy; Angioplasty.

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