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Keywords:

  • cerebral embolism;
  • carotid stenosis;
  • carotid endarterectomy

Objective– To assess if Doppler microembolic signals (MES) associated with ≥60% symptomatic extracranial carotid stenosis may predict ischemic recurrences before endarterectomy or angioplasty. Methods– All patients with ≥60% carotid stenosis with symptoms in the preceding 2 months were prospectively considered. MES were identified using current criteria. All patients were followed-up until endarterectomy or angioplasty. Results– We studied 50 patients, at a median of 7 days from their last symptom. Twenty patients showed MES (40.0%); median embolus rate was 4/h. During a median follow-up of 19 days 7 patients had recurrences (transient monocular blindness=2; TIAs=4; stroke=1); 6 of them had shown MES. The association between recurrences and MES was significant (P=0.012). Conclusions– MES may identify patients with symptomatic carotid stenosis who are likely to suffer an ischemic recurrence before endarterectomy. This information may affect medical treatment and referral to the vascular surgeon.