From Coronaries to Carotids: Shifting the Paradigm of Plaque Vulnerability
Epidemiologically, it is also important to recognize that, although carotid artery disease is common in the general population, the prevalence of stenosis with luminal narrowing > 50% is rare (e.g. < 8% in the Cardiovascular Health Study). We know that the 5-year risk of stroke in asymptomatic patients with < 60% carotid artery stenosis is ˜ 8% (and 1.6% annually). 10 Therefore, although the individual risk for cerebrovascular events with low-and moderate-grade luminal narrowing is relatively low, the implication for the overall risk of cerebrovascular events may be significant because of the high prevalence of this finding.