Purpose of review: Extracranial (EC) and intracranial (IC) large vessel atherosclerosis account for about 20% of ischemic stroke cases. In recent years, new treatments have emerged for treatment of both EC and IC disease. Recent findings: The stroke rate in patients with carotid stenosis is decreasing with modern medical therapy. For patients with asymptomatic stenosis, the stroke rate is likely ,1% per year. Some subsets of patients with symptomatic carotid disease benefit less from revascularization, and medical management can be considered in these patients. A second clinical trial has confirmed that aggressive medical management is the treatment of choice for IC atherosclerotic disease. Vessel wall imaging may be useful to define pathophysiology in patients with IC stenosis and could ultimately help tailor therapy, but further studies are needed. Medical therapy is preferred to stenting for patients with vertebral artery'origin stenosis. Summary: Recent data and emerging concepts regarding large vessel atherosclerosis are provided.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology