Objectives: The recommendations of international guidelines for the management of asymptomatic carotid stenosis (ACS) often vary considerably and extend from a conservative approach with risk factor modification and best medical treatment (BMT) alone, to a more aggressive approach with a carotid intervention plus BMT. The aim of the current multispecialty position statement is to reconcile the conflicting views on the topic. Materials and methods: A literature review was performed with a focus on data from recent studies. Results: Several clinical and imaging high-risk features have been identified that are associated with an increased long-term ipsilateral ischemic stroke risk in patients with ACS. Such high-risk clinical/imaging features include intraplaque hemorrhage, impaired cerebrovascular reserve, carotid plaque echolucency/ulceration/ neovascularization, a lipid-rich necrotic core, a thin or ruptured fibrous cap, silent brain infarction, a contralateral transient ischemic attack/stroke episode, male patients < 75 years and microembolic signals on transcranial Doppler. There is growing evidence that 80–99% ACS indicate a higher stroke risk than 50–79% stenoses. Conclusions: Although aggressive risk factor control and BMT should be implemented in all ACS patients, several high-risk features that may increase the risk of a future cerebrovascular event are now documented. Consequently, some guidelines recommend a prophylactic carotid intervention in high-risk patients to prevent future cerebrovascular events. Until the results of the much-anticipated randomized controlled trials emerge, the jury is still out regarding the optimal management of ACS patients.

Optimal Management of Asymptomatic Carotid Stenosis in 2021: The Jury is Still Out. An International, Multispecialty, Expert Review and Position Statement

Spinelli F.;Stilo F.;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Objectives: The recommendations of international guidelines for the management of asymptomatic carotid stenosis (ACS) often vary considerably and extend from a conservative approach with risk factor modification and best medical treatment (BMT) alone, to a more aggressive approach with a carotid intervention plus BMT. The aim of the current multispecialty position statement is to reconcile the conflicting views on the topic. Materials and methods: A literature review was performed with a focus on data from recent studies. Results: Several clinical and imaging high-risk features have been identified that are associated with an increased long-term ipsilateral ischemic stroke risk in patients with ACS. Such high-risk clinical/imaging features include intraplaque hemorrhage, impaired cerebrovascular reserve, carotid plaque echolucency/ulceration/ neovascularization, a lipid-rich necrotic core, a thin or ruptured fibrous cap, silent brain infarction, a contralateral transient ischemic attack/stroke episode, male patients < 75 years and microembolic signals on transcranial Doppler. There is growing evidence that 80–99% ACS indicate a higher stroke risk than 50–79% stenoses. Conclusions: Although aggressive risk factor control and BMT should be implemented in all ACS patients, several high-risk features that may increase the risk of a future cerebrovascular event are now documented. Consequently, some guidelines recommend a prophylactic carotid intervention in high-risk patients to prevent future cerebrovascular events. Until the results of the much-anticipated randomized controlled trials emerge, the jury is still out regarding the optimal management of ACS patients.
Asymptomatic carotid stenosis; Best medical treatment; Carotid endarterectomy; Carotid plaque; Stroke
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12610/71010
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