Is carotid sonography a useful tool for predicting functional capabilities in ischemic stroke patients following carotid artery stenting?

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Carotid stenosis is a major cause of stroke and timely intervention with stenting manipulation can significantly reduce the risk of secondary stroke. The impact of stenting procedures on patient functional capabilities has not yet been explored. The primary aim of this study was to examine associations between periprocedural carotid sonography parameters and post-treatment functional capabilities in stroke patients.

Sixty-seven patients who received carotid stenting at 1 angiography laboratory were included. Prestenting and poststenting carotid duplex data were recorded and resistance index (RI) differences at various carotid system locations were compared. The modified Rankin Scale (mRS) was used to assess functional capability. All of the studied parameters were analyzed by SPSS (version 16.0, SPSS Inc, Chicago, IL).

Following stenting, mRS scores improved (n = 44) or remained stationary (n = 23). Net contralateral internal carotid artery (ICA) RI for patients with improved mRS was lower compared to that for patients with stationary mRS (median = 0.040 vs 0.11; P = 0.003). The contralateral common carotid artery RI before and after stenting differed significantly (P < 0.050) in both. The ipsilateral ICA RI differed (P < 0.050) only in patients with improved mRS. The difference in mean transit time, Barthel index, net ipsilateral ICA RI, net contralateral external carotid artery RI, postipsilateral common carotid artery RI, and postipsilateral ICA RI differed significantly between different baseline stroke severity groups (P < 0.050).

Carotid artery stenting improved physical function in a proportion of ischemic stroke patients with carotid stenosis. Carotid ultrasound is a useful assessment tool to predict likely functional outcomes following carotid artery stenting.

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