Prevalence of Symptomatic Intracranial Atherosclerosis in Caucasians: A Prospective, Multicenter, Transcranial Doppler Study

Journal Article
, Tsivgoulis G, Vadikolias K, Heliopoulos I, Katsibari C, Voumvourakis K, Tsakaldimi S, Boutati E, Vasdekis SN, Athanasiadis D, Al-Attas OS, Charalampidis P, Stamboulis E, Piperidou C. . 2012
Publication Work Type: 
Magazine \ Newspaper: 
Publication Abstract: 


There are limited data available regarding symptomatic intracranial atherosclerosis (SIA) prevalence in Caucasians. We sought to investigate SIA prevalence among Caucasian patients hospitalized with acute cerebral ischemia (ACI) in a prospective, multicenter Transcranial Doppler sonography (TCD) study.


Consecutive patients with ACI were prospectively evaluated with TCD over a 24-month-period. The previously validated criteria of SONIA trial were used for detection of >50% intracranial stenosis with TCD. Brain angiography was performed to confirm the diagnosis in cases with abnormal TCD findings. SIA was diagnosed when there was evidence of a cerebral infarction in the territory of the stenotic artery (identified by TCD and confirmed by Magnetic resonance angiography [MRA]/Computed tomography angiography [CTA]).


A total of 467 consecutive patients with ACI (60.4% men, mean age 58 ± 14 years) were evaluated. SIA was documented in 43 patients (9.2%; 95%CI: 6.9%-12.2%). The most common SIA location was M1MCA (34.9%) followed by TICA (18.8%). Diabetes mellitus (OR: 4.25, 95%CI: 2.18-8.26; P < .001) and hypertension (OR: 2.41, 95%CI: 1.02-5.67; P = .045) were independently associated with SIA on multivariate models adjusting for potential confounders.


SIA was identified in almost 10% of patients admitted with symptoms of ACI. These preliminary findings support further collaborative initiatives among stroke physicians to increase the yield of SIA detection in Caucasian patients with ACI.