New risk factor for another stroke
A research team reported a few years ago that the so-called complicated Plaques in the carotid artery a Risk factor for one hit I am. It has now been found that such plaques also increase the risk of another brain infarction.
The so-called complicated plaques in the carotid artery are a major risk factor for a second stroke. A team of doctors from the LMU Klinikum in Munich, led by Prof. Dr. Martin Dichgans and Prof. Dr. Tobias Saam discovered this in a study. The study results were published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Complicated plaques in the carotid artery
According to a statement from the Munich University Hospital, stroke is a growing medical problem around the world.
In Germany alone, 260,000 to 280,000 people suffer a stroke every two to three minutes. Stroke is the leading cause of lifelong disability and the second leading cause of death after heart attack. In up to 30% of cases, the cause of a stroke remains unexplained, even with detailed diagnostics.
The LMU Klinikum team, together with colleagues from the Universities of Freiburg and Tübingen and the Technical University of Munich, had already reported a risk factor for stroke in 2020: so-called complicated plaques in the carotid artery.
Their findings were also published in the “Journal of the American College of Cardiology”.
Renewed circulatory disorder of the brain
Plaques, deposits on the inner walls of blood vessels, are a conglomerate of fat and inflammatory cells surrounded by an outer covering (hood). Where they arise, blood vessels increasingly narrow. However, the components of the plaque can also be detached, which reach the brain via the bloodstream and block the blood vessels there.
The surrounding tissue then dies from lack of oxygen, leading to the symptoms of a stroke.
Complicated plaques in the carotid artery are high-risk plaques characterized by at least one of the following: first, a ruptured cap, second, bleeding into the plaque, and third, a blood clot hanging externally from the plaque.
Doctors have now recruited 196 patients who had suffered a stroke. His fate was mapped out in three years. Researchers question: Which study participants would suffer from another circulatory brain disorder – and could complicated plaques be a reason for that?
144 patients remained until the end of the three years. In some cases, however, data on “dropouts” were also included in the evaluation, for example if they suffered another stroke after a year and therefore were no longer able or did not want to take part in the study, explains Dr. . Anna Kopczak, first author of the study.
Further studies planned
It has been found that patients with complicated plaque have a 2.5 times greater risk of another stroke or a “transient ischemic attack”, or TIA for short, than those without such a complicated plaque.
TIAs are circulatory disorders in the brain in which nerve cells only temporarily suffer from a lack of oxygen and ultimately do not die.
as Dr Kopczak explains, experts can identify which patients are particularly at risk of having another stroke. “And behind it is the more important question: Should we treat these people differently? Should these patients be given different drugs or a higher dosage? Does the plaque need to be surgically removed? “
To answer this question, LMU doctors are planning a corresponding study. There is already a surgical method for surgical removal. It is used for patients with plaques that constrict a blood vessel by more than 50%.
However, patients with complicated plaque may also benefit, as in the current Munich study, none of whom have severe shrinkage. (A.D)
Information on the author and source
This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialist medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by medical professionals.
This article contains general advice only and is not to be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.