Prevalence of Extracranial Carotid and Vertebral Artery Disease in Chinese Patients With Coronary Artery Disease

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Background and Purpose

Chinese have been reported to have an extremely low prevalence rate of carotid and vertebral artery disease in comparison with whites. Previous studies, however, have been limited to general hospital stroke admission or postmortem series and were prone to selection bias. Extracranial cerebrovascular disease (ECCVD) is associated with coronary artery disease (CAD) in whites. Data associating ECCVD with CAD in Chinese patients are not available.


We studied 153 consecutive Chinese patients with angiographically documented CAD. Duplex ultrasonography was performed to identify any underlying extracranial carotid and vertebral artery disease. Patient demographics; vascular risk factors; history of myocardial infarction, transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke; concomitant peripheral vascular disease (PVD); degree of left ventricular dysfunction; and extent and severity of CAD were also noted and analyzed.


Significant (>or=to50%) stenosis of one or more of the extracranial cerebral arteries was found in 32 patients (21%). The internal and external carotid arteries were involved in 17 of 153 patients (11%) and 19 of 153 patients (12%), respectively. The vertebral artery was involved in 9 of 153 patients (6%) and the common carotid artery in 3 of 153 (2%). Diabetes mellitus, hypertension, a history of TIA or stroke, and PVD were significantly associated with the presence of ECCVD.


Significant ECCVD is not uncommon in Chinese patients with CAD, and the prevalence is comparable with that reported in white populations. Patients with a history of diabetes, hypertension, TIA, stroke, and PVD are more likely to have concomitant ECCVD. (Stroke. 1998;29:631-634.)

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