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Stroke. 2011 Jan;42(1 Suppl):S20-3. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.110.597278. Epub 2010 Dec 16.

Intracranial atherosclerosis: current concepts.

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Stroke Unit, Department of Neurology, Hospital Clínico Universitario Valladolid, Avda Ramón y Cajal 3, 47003 Valladolid, Spain.


The most relevant ideas discussed in this article are described here. Intracranial atherosclerotic disease (ICAD) represents the most common cause of ischemic stroke worldwide. Its importance in whites may have been underestimated. New technical developments, such as high-resolution MRI, allow direct assessment of the intracranial atherosclerotic plaque, which may have a profound impact on ICAD diagnosis and therapy in the near future. Early detection of ICAD may allow therapeutic intervention while the disease is still asymptomatic. The Barcelonès Nord and Maresme Asymptomatic Intracranial Atherosclerosis Study is presented here. The main prognostic factors that characterize the patients who are at a higher risk for ICAD recurrence are classified and discussed. The best treatment for ICAD remains to be established. The Stenting Versus Aggressive Medical Management for Preventing Recurrent Stroke in Intracranial Stenosis Study is currently ongoing to address this crucial issue. These and other topics will be discussed at the Fifth International Intracranial Atherosclerosis Conference (Valladolid, Spain, autumn 2011).

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