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Nervenarzt. 2000 Dec;71(12):955-62.

[Unstable carotid stenosis--an inflammatory disease?].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Neurologische Klinik der Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Moorenstr. 5, 40225 Düsseldorf. stollg@uni-duesseldorf.de


Arterioarterial thromboembolism from extracranial internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis is an important pathogenic mechanism of ischemic stroke. However, even a high-grade ICA stenosis carries a greatly variable annual risk of stroke, as high as 13% following a recent occurrence of transient or minor cerebral ischemia or as low as 1-2% in clinically asymptomatic patients. There is increasing evidence that inflammatory processes play a central role in atherosclerosis and particularly in plaque destabilization converting chronic atherosclerosis into an acute neurological disorder. In thromboendarterectomy specimens from patients with high-grade ICA stenoses, the extent of inflammatory infiltration and the expression of matrixmetalloproteinase-9 correlated to clinical and ultrasonic features of plaque destabilization such as cerebral microembolism. Inflammation might become a new therapeutic target in symptomatic carotid artery disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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