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Rev Neurol. 2004 Jun 1-15;38(11):1013-7.

[Ischemic brain lesions following carotid revascularisation procedures: a comparative study using diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging].

[Article in Spanish]

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Hospital Universitario Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Spain.



The risk of cerebral embolism following angioplasty-stent placement (AGP) is higher than that observed after a carotid endarterectomy (CE) using transcranial Doppler ultrasonography. Nevertheless, no studies have been conducted to compare the two revascularisation procedures with the latest neuroimaging techniques.


To analyse the presence and repercussion of acute cerebral ischemia detected by diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DMR) following carotid revascularisation procedures.


Our prospective study included a sample of 20 consecutive patients with atherosclerotic stroke and symptomatic carotid stenosis > 70% according to NASCET criteria and treated by CE (n = 10) or AGP (n = 10). Patients were submitted to a DMR during the 48 hours prior to revascularisation and another within the 72 hours following the intervention in order to evaluate the existence of new acute cerebral ischemic lesions. Patients were explored by a neurologist before and after the intervention.


DMR allowed new areas of cerebral ischemia to be detected in 10% of the CE and in 40% of the AGP patients. 50% of the post-AGP ischemic lesions were multiple and 10% of the lesions in each therapeutic group presented some clinical correlation in the form of transient neurological focal signs. No significant differences were observed with respect to the pattern of risk of complications between the two therapeutic groups and no factors associated to a higher risk of new ischemic lesions were detected by DMR in patients submitted to AGP.


Carotid AGP is linked to a higher frequency of new ischemic lesions in the brain than in the case of CE. Nevertheless, these ischemic lesions detected by DMR are usually silent. Symptomatic complications were similar in the two procedures.

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