A Comparison between Intracranial and Extracranial Arteries Using Neuroimaging in Acute Ischemic Stroke and Its Relation to Risk Factors

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University, Egypt

2 Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Egypt

3 Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Agouza Police Hospital, Egypt


Background: Atherosclerotic infarction accounts for a sizable proportion of cerebral infarcts whether occurs from extracranial or intracranial atherosclerotic disease. Despite recent studies on stroke risk factors; it is still unclear whether or not single risk factor specifically affect extracranial or intracranial arteries in stroke patients.
Aim of the work: To determine the difference between intracranial and extracranial steno-occlusive atherosclerosis and its correlation with risk factors of acute ischemic stroke using Magnetic Resonance Angiogram (MRA) and/or Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA) with Duplex.
Patients and methods: All cases diagnosed as acute ischemic stroke were subjected to detailed history, full neurological examination, routine laboratory tests, extracranial vessels assessed by duplex, intracranial vessels assessed by MRA and/or CTA.
Results: 61 patients included in the study (38 males and 23 females), with mean age (64.5 ± 11.4). Extracranial stenosis was (57 patients, 93.4%), while intracranial stenosis was (49 patients, 80.3%). But the intracranial significant stenosis was (45 patients, 73.77%), while the extracranial significant stenosis (26 patients, 42.62%). Hypertension (72.1%), obesity (62.3%), diabetes (57.4%), dyslipidemia (54.1%) and smoking (39.3%), were risk factors equally affecting the extracranial and the intracranial systems in the same descending order. There was a higher prevalence of hypertension among patients with intracranial significant stenosis showing a significant P-value of 0.048.
Conclusion: Extracranial stenosis was more common than the intracranial stenosis, but the intracranial significant stenosis is more prevalent than the extracranial. Hypertension is a significant risk factor for intracranial significant stenosis.


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