Comparison of carotid artery intima - media thickness and risk factors of atherosclerosis in lacunar versus non-lacunar cerebral infarcts

Seyed Ali Mousavi, Seyed Payam Mirabdoulbaghi


BACKGROUND: Increases in the thickness of the intima-media of the carotid artery have been associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction and stroke in subjects without a history of cardiovascular disease. Lacunar infarcts, one of the most common subtypes of ischemic stroke, show unique pathological and clinicoradiological characteristics. The present study examined the relationship between the vascular risk factors, including carotid artery intimamedia thickness (IMT), and lacunar versus non-lacunar infarcts.
METHODS: We collected data from patients admitted to hospital with acute ischemic stroke. 195 Patients and 96 control subjects underwent B-mode ultrasonographic measurements of IMT of the common carotid artery. We examined the association of lacunar and non-lacunar infarcts with age, sex, and potential vascular risk factors.
RESULTS: Of 195 adult patients with acute ischemic stroke, 87 were considered lacunar and 108 were considered nonlacunar strokes. Between these two groups of patients, we did not find a significantly different percentage of diabetes,
smoking, hypertension, dyslipidemia, myocardial infarction, or previous history of ischemic stroke, alcohol, obesity,
atherogen diet, exercise, and IMT. However, patients with lacunar infarct, diabetes mellitus (P = 0.02), and hypertension
(P = 0.02) had a significantly higher percentage of history of prior CVA (P = 0.03) and a significantly higher percentage
of non-lacunar infarct.
CONCLUSIONS: The present results indicated that diabetes mellitus and hypertension are more common in patients with lacunar infarcts, and history of CVA is more common in patients with nonā€“lacunar infarcts. We further concluded that IMT cannot differentiate subtypes of ischemic stroke. Because risk factors and clinical presentation of ischemic stroke differ among races, more national studies should be done in our country to find ways to prevent stroke and its complications.
KEY WORDS: Lacunar infarction, risk factors, ultrasonography.


Lacunar infarction, risk factors, ultrasonography.

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