Advanced Atherosclerosis of the Aortic Arch is Uncommon in Ischemic Stroke: An Autopsy Study


Aortic and Carotid Atherosclerosis Are Known Risk Factors for Stroke. the Aim of the Study Was to Determine the Frequency of Atherosclerotic Lesions in the Aorta and Carotid Arteries in Subjects Dying of Ischemic and Hemorrhagic Stroke and to Determine Whether Aortic Atherosclerosis Was Associated with Any Specific Ischemic Stroke Subtype. Autopsies Were Performed in 207 Patients Who Died during Hospitalization for Stroke from 1993 to 1997. Subjects Ranged in Age from 37 to 98 Years, Mean 74.45 Years (SD ± 11.84). There Were 132 Women and 75 Men. Stroke Was Hemorrhagic in 66 and Ischemic in 141. Advanced Atherosclerotic Lesions Were Less Frequent in the Aortic Arch (1.9%) Than in the Thoracic Aorta (51.7%), Abdominal Aorta (60.4%), or Carotid Arteries (23.7%). Moderate Atherosclerotic Lesions in the Aortic Arch Were Observed More Frequently in Ischemic (75.2%) Than Hemorrhagic Stroke (56.1%, P = 0.026). Advanced or Moderate Atherosclerotic Lesions in Any Part of the Aorta Did Not Predict Ischemic Stroke Subtype. Advanced Atherosclerosis of the Carotids Was More Common in Ischemic Stroke (28.4%) Than Hemorrhagic Stroke (13.6%, P < 0.05). Advanced Atherosclerosis of the Carotids Was More Common in Stroke Due to Atherothrombosis (51.4%) Than in Stroke Due to Cardiac Embolism (22.1%) or Stroke of Unknown Etiology (5.6%). the Low Frequency of Advanced Atherosclerotic Lesions of the Aortic Arch Suggests that This Disease Process is Not a Common Mechanism of Stroke.



Keywords and Phrases

Aorta; Atherosclerotic lesions; Carotid arteries; Hemorrhagic stroke; Ischemic stroke

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Article - Journal

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Publication Date

18 Jul 2002

PubMed ID