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Ann Vasc Surg. 2011 Nov;25(8):1142.e11-7. doi: 10.1016/j.avsg.2011.05.035.

Floating thrombus as a marker of unstable atheromatous carotid plaque.

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  • 1Neurology and Radiology Service, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, Oviedo, Spain.


Floating thrombus in a carotid artery is an uncommon pathology with a high risk of embolism. We present three patients diagnosed with acute stroke, with a floating thrombus complicating an atheromatous plaque, who were treated with anticoagulants and statins. Although two patients had satisfactory results, one patient suffered a stroke related to plaque progression nearly 3 years after initial presentation. Medical treatment seems to be a good initial option, although late cerebral ischemic complications may be seen due to carotid plaque instability. Delayed carotid endarterectomy or stenting should be considered in cases with subsequent plaque progression.

Copyright © 2011 Annals of Vascular Surgery Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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