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  • Author: Dalius Jatužis x
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Aim: The aim of the paper is to evaluate the appearance of the new early ischemic lesions in the brain after carotid angioplasty and stenting on diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging, and their relationship with clinical and procedural factors.

Methods: Carotid artery stenting (CAS) procedures performed by a single interventional cardiologist in years November 2006 to January 2013 were evaluated retrospectively. In total, 227 procedures for 211 patients (mean age 69.8 ± 8.5 years) were performed, from which 171 (75.3%) for male and 56 (24.7%) for female patients. Seventy-two (34.1%) patients had symptomatic stenosis of carotid artery. The following protection systems to avoid the distal microembolism were used during the CAS: (1) Filters: FilterWire EZ (Boston Scientific Corporation); Emboshield NAV (Abbott Vascular); SpideRX (EV3); Defender (Medtronic); FiberNet Filter (Invatec-Medtronic); (2) Occlusion MoMa Baloon System (Invatec-Medtronic). Acute ischemic damages of the brain before and after CAS procedure were diagnosed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) sequences. Sixty-five (30.8%) patients underwent MRI test. Exact and asymptomatic χ2 criteria were applied for testing the hypothesis of inter-dependency of the symptoms.

Results: Forty-six (70.8%) patients had new ischemic foci in the brain on MRI DWI after CAS procedures. Among those patients, focal damage of the brain was diagnosed in 36 (78.3%) cases; linear damage of the brain - in 9 (19.6%) patients; ipsilateral damage of the brain - in 37 (80.4%) patients; bilateral damage of the brain - in 16 (34.8%) patients, 38 (82.6%) patients were diagnosed with forebrain damage; 4 (8.7%) patients were diagnosed with damage of brainstem; 5 (10.9%) patients were diagnosed with cerebellum damage. Clinical symptoms of brain damage were diagnosed only for 2 (4.3%) patients. Focal damage of the brain was significantly less frequent only for aortic arch type 1, if compared with aortic arch type 2 and 3: 64.3%, 93.3% and 100.0%, respectively (p < 0.05). Focal damage of the brain occurred least in patients (28.6%) with Emboshield NAV protection type, if compared to other types of protection (71.4-100.0%). Linear >10mmbrain damage was less frequent when using FilterWire EZ, Emboshield NAV and SpideRX protection type. Ipsilateral ischemic brain damage also occurred less frequent when using Emboshield NAV protection type; bilateral damage occurred less frequent when using FilterWire EZ, Emboshield NAV and SpideRX protection type. Ischemic forebrain damage was also diagnosed less often in patients for whom protection type FilterWire EZ and Emboshield NAV was applied.

Conclusions: Most frequent findings by MRI after CAS procedures were focal, ipsilateral and forebrain damage (about 80%), but less than 5% patients had clinical symptoms. In the case of aorta arch type 1 focal ischemic damage of the brain was significantly less frequent, then in aortic arch type 2 and 3. The localization and extent of brain damage was associated with the type of protection systems that have been used.


Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of premature death worldwide. More than half of deaths were caused by cardiovascular diseases in 2017 in Lithuania. Primary prevention programmes encourage both medical staff and general population to pay attention to potential health issues as well as attempt to eradicate risk factors causing cardiovascular diseases. “A Funding Programme for the Screening and Preventive Management of the High Cardiovascular Risk Individuals” published in Lithuania has been implemented as of 2006.

Analysis of the results of the programme shows that the prevalent cases of arterial hypertension are gradually declining. However, the prevalence of dyslipidaemia is still not decreasing. The prevalence of other modifiable cardiovascular disease risk factors has erratic trends with a slight overall decline. Consequently, mortality rate of cardiovascular diseases has decreased by more than one third among middle-age population over the past 10 years.

Having higher availability of the anti-hypertensive and anti-lipid medications already achieved, the future plans include the aim of further reducing elevated blood pressure and effectively treating dyslipidaemia. In order to implement a strategy that focuses on smoking prevention, promotion of healthy nutrition and physical activity, a significant contribution is required from the state authorities.