Carotid Artery Blood Flow Velocity Related to Transient Ischemic Attack and Stroke in a Population Study of 69-Year-Old Men

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Abstract

A population-based sample of 478 men aged 69 years living in Malmo, Sweden, underwent Doppler ultrasonic examination of their carotid arteries; cerebrovascular symptoms and signs were recorded independently. Among 471 men with complete examinations, 117 (25%) showed significant abnormalities in carotid blood flow velocity (moderate stenoses [30–60% diameter reduction] in 20%, severe stenosis [>60% reduction] or occlusion in 5%). The latter seemingly formed a group separate from the main distribution curve. Stroke was reported in 28 men (6%), during the year before examination in nine (2%). Carotid transient ischemic attack (TIA) was clinically confirmed in one man during this year, while unconfirmed symptoms were reported in 63 (13%). There was a relation between ipsilateral hemispheric stroke/TIA and severe carotid disease (p < 0.001). Four of seven men with total occlusion had a stroke or a clinically confirmed TIA. Nevertheless, the majority of carotid stenoses (including severe stenoses) were asymptomatic. Cerebrovascular symptoms were not significantly more frequent among the men having moderate stenosis than among those having healthy arteries. (Stroke 1989;20:1327–1330)

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