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Stenosis of the extracranial carotid artery is a treatable cause of ischemic stroke and can reliably be detected and graded by vascular ultrasound. The differentiation between symptomatic and asymptomatic stenosis, the perioperative risk and the estimated life expectancy of the patient guide the therapy. Therapy is based on an optimal treatment of cardiovascular risk factors and antiplatelet drugs. Revascularization using surgical carotid endarterectomy is efficient for the prevention of stroke in patients with a high grade symptomatic stenosis. Endovascular therapy using stent-protected angioplasty of the carotid artery is an alternative in patients with a higher surgical risk with low complication rates when performed in experienced centres. Patients with asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis are primarily treated conservatively and revascularization is indicated in patients with a low surgical and global cardiovascular risk.


K Halbritter, N Weiss. Update carotid artery stenosis]. Der Internist. 2013 Jun;54(6):715-25

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PMID: 23677565

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