Current management of symptomatic intracranial stenosis: Medical versus endovascular therapy
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- Weigele, J.B., Taylor, R.A. & Kasner, S.E. Curr Atheroscler Rep (2007) 9: 296. doi:10.1007/s11883-007-0036-1
Approximately 8% to 10% of all ischemic strokes are caused by intracranial arterial stenosis (IAS). After a stroke or transient ischemic attack due to IAS, patients face a 12% annual risk of recurrent stroke on medical therapy, with most strokes occurring in the first year. Warfarin has been shown to be no better than aspirin in preventing recurrent strokes but poses a higher risk of serious bleeding and death. Groups with the highest risk of recurrent stroke are those with high-grade (≥ 70%) stenosis, those with recent symptom onset, and women. Endovascular treatment of IAS is a rapidly evolving therapeutic option. Antiplatelet agents are currently recommended as the primary treatment for symptomatic IAS, with endovascular therapy reserved for appropriate high-risk cases refractory to medical therapy.
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