Ischemic stroke related to intracranial branch atheromatous disease and comparison with large and small artery diseases

Department of Medicine, Queen Mary Hospital, University of Hong Kong, China.
Journal of the neurological sciences (Impact Factor: 2.47). 04/2011; 303(1-2):80-4. DOI: 10.1016/j.jns.2011.01.008
Source: PubMed


The mechanism of ischemic stroke in intracranial branch atheromatous disease (BAD) is different from large artery atherothrombotic disease (LAD) or lacunar infarction (LACI). The concept of BAD is underused in clinical practice and research.
Patients admitted over 24-months with ischemic stroke caused by atherosclerotic disease were reviewed retrospectively and classified according to radiological±clinical criteria into LAD, BAD and LACI. The BAD cases were further divided into 5 BAD syndromes. Clinical characteristics, vascular risk factors, results of vascular workup and outcome among these subgroups were compared.
123 cases of LAD (17% of all stroke patients or 33% of all studied patients), 147 BAD (20% or 40%) and 102 LACI (14% or 27%) presented during the study period. Compared to LAD, BAD patients had milder neurological deficits, were less often diabetic and carotid stenosis was less common, while stenosis of the intracranial arteries was more frequent in BAD as compared with LACI patients. Outcome in BAD patients was intermediate between LAD and LACI. Comparisons among the BAD syndromes indicated they were homogenous conditions.
BAD is the most prevalent ischemic stroke subtype in our cohort. The homogeneity among the BAD syndromes suggests they might represent a distinctive stroke entity.

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    • "Consequently, among the traditional vascular risk factors, diabetes appears to play a preeminent role in intracranial macroangiopathy in the Chinese population (24). Additionally, the presence of intracranial LAA disease contributes to a poorer outcome for patients with LAA disease, which may be stratified as very high risk in secondary prevention (25). "
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    ABSTRACT: High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (HRMRI) has a unique ability to provide an evaluation of the intracranial artery wall. This study aimed to investigate the possible mechanisms of ischemic stroke in patients with intracranial atherosclerosis using HRMRI. HRMRI was performed on 55 patients (38 male and 17 female) with acute cerebral infarction to investigate the lumen-intruding plaque at the stenotic portion of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) and basilar artery (BA) and to attempt to identify the mechanisms of stroke. Penetrating artery disease (PAD) was diagnosed in 20 patients (36%) and large-artery atherosclerosis (LAA) was diagnosed in 35 patients, including 19 with parent artery plaques occluding a penetrating artery (POPA; 35%) and 16 with artery-to-artery embolisms (29%). Patients with PAD had a higher frequency of hypertension compared with that of the patients with LAA (80 versus 29%; P<0.001), and patients with LAA had a higher frequency of diabetes compared with that of the patients with PAD (40% versus 15%; P=0.054). Magnetic resonance angiography revealed mild to moderate stenosis in the patients with POPA, while border zone infarction and artery-to-artery embolism occurred in the majority of the patients with severe stenosis or occlusion of the MCA and BA. HRMRI has the ability to identify the mechanisms of intracranial atherosclerotic ischemic stroke through the detection of luminal plaques.
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