Prevalence of hemodynamically significant stenosis of the carotid artery in an asymptomatic veteran population

R. J. Fowl, J. G. Marsch, M. Love, R. B. Patterson, R. Shukla, R. F. Kempczinski

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29 Scopus citations

Abstract

The results of previous studies have suggested that significant stenosis of the carotid artery occurs in less than 6 per cent of asymptomatic patients. However, some populations studied were not representative of those seen by most vascular surgeons. Accordingly, we examined two cohorts of patients at the Veterans Administration Medical Center using Duplex® scanning. There were 153 volunteers in group 1, all more than 50 years of age, who were being treated at our outpatient department for nonvascular problems. There were 116 patients of similar age in group 2 but who were known to have significant arterial occlusive disease of the lower extremity. The majority of patients were men with a mean age of 64.4 years. Risk factors in the total population included hypertension, diabetes mellitus, coronary arterial disease, peripheral vascular disease and smoking. Over-all, significant (>50 per cent diameter) stenosis of the carotid artery was discovered in 25 of 269 patients. The prevalence for those in group 1 was 6.5 per cent versus 12.9 per cent for those in group 2 (p=0.058). The prevalence in patients with cardiac disease was 15.2 per cent compared with 6.8 per cent in those without cardiac disease (p=0.032). Smoking was associated with a 10.6 per cent rate of significant disease compared with a 2.3 per cent rate in nonsmokers (p=0.065). Hypertension and diabetes were not significant risk factors. Significant stenosis of the carotid artery was found in seven of 40 patients in whom coronary arterial disease, peripheral vascular disease and smoking were all present. By contrast, no patient (zero of 32) in whom all three risk factors were absent had a significant lesion of the carotid artery (p<0.05). Asymptomatic patients with multiple risk factors for atherosclerosis are at increased risk for developing carotid arterial stenosis, and aggressive surveillance in this subgroup appears warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-16
Number of pages4
JournalSurgery Gynecology and Obstetrics
Volume172
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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