Title

Frequency and Outcome of Carotid Atheromatous Disease in Patients With Stroke in Pakistan

Document Type

Article

Department

Neurology; Medicine

Abstract

Background And Purpose:

Limited data exist on the frequency and outcome of carotid artery disease in Pakistan. Such information would help guide the usefulness of screening for the condition in this low-middle income health care setting.

Methods:

A prospective, descriptive study was conducted among 3 large teaching hospitals in Karachi, Pakistan. Patients referred for carotid Doppler ultrasound examination were included if they had experienced a stroke or TIA within the previous month. The severity and morphology of carotid disease were characterized by trained technicians using standardized criteria. Demographic and risk factor data were collected at baseline, and the outcome of Patients was assessed at least 6 months later.

Results:

A total of 672 Patients underwent bilateral carotid Doppler ultrasound (1344 carotid examinations). The findings revealed 0% to 50% stenosis in 526 (78%), 51% to 69% stenosis in 57 (8%), 70% to 99% stenosis in 82 (12%), and total occlusion in 7 Patients (1%). Potentially surgically correctable disease, defined as 70% to 99% carotid artery stenosis, was present in only 79 (12%) Patients, of whom 47 (60%) were ipsilateral symptomatic, 15 (20%) asymptomatic, and 17 (20%) had status unknown. Outcome information at >= 6 months follow-up was available for 36 of the 47 (76%) surgically correctable and only 4 of these Patients (12%) had undergone surgical or radiological intervention (carotid endarterectomy in 3 Patients and carotid stenting in 1 Patient).

Conclusion:

The frequency of carotid artery disease of at least moderate severity is very low in Patients with recent stroke or TIA and there is low utilization of high-cost, carotid intervention procedures in Pakistan. These data raise questions regarding the applicability and cost-effectiveness of routine carotid ultrasound screening in our country and similar population in Asia. The local socio-economic and clinical data do not support routine carotid Doppler ultrasound in every Patient with stroke and TIA in Pakistan. Studies are warranted to determine predictors of significant carotid artery stenosis in stroke/TIA Patients of our country to develop reliable stroke guidelines appropriate for local population.

Publication

Stroke