Prospective Comparison of a Cohort With Asymptomatic Carotid Bruit and a Population-Based Cohort Without Carotid Bruit

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This study is a prospective analysis of the predictive value of diffuse and localized carotid bruit. Patients with asymptomatic carotid bruits are compared with a population-based age- and sex-matched control group known not to have carotid bruit, in regard to subsequent transient ischemic attack, stroke, and death. Each person was followed until death or for 5 years. Among the 566 patients with asymptomatic carotid bruit, the annual stroke rate given survival was 1.5%/yr or 7.5% at 5 years by actuarial analysis. The annual stroke rate given survival for the 428 patients in the population-based cohort was 0.5%/yr or 2.4% at 5 years. Patients with localized carotid bruit were not significantly different from those with diffuse carotid bruits in regard to subsequent cerebral ischemic events (p = 0.11). These data indicate that patients with asymptomatic diffuse or localized carotid bruit are approximately three times more likely to have ischemic stroke than an age- and sex-matched population sample known not to have carotid bruit.

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