Intracranial atherosclerotic disease is a significant cause of stroke in the United States. Much like coronary atherosclerosis, this disease leads to arterial stenosis secondary to the buildup of lipid-based plaques in intracranial vessels. Ischemic stroke may occur following thromboembolic events near the site of stenosis or from watershed ischemia secondary to cerebral hypoperfusion. While this disease has been treated with intracranial angioplasty and stenting and cerebrovascular bypass surgery, the current literature supports aggressive medical management with dual antiplatelet therapy, treatment of comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia, and lifestyle modification. Intracranial angioplasty and stenting is reserved for cases of medical failure.
- intracranial atherosclerosis
- intracranial stent