Carotid web increases risk for recurrent stroke within 2 yea
One in six patients with a symptomatic carotid web experienced a recurrent stroke within 2 years of the index stroke, according to results of a cohort study of more than 3,400 patients with large vessel occlusion stroke.

A carotid web (CW) is a shelf-like lesion along the posterior wall of the internal carotid artery bulb and an underrecognized cause of young stroke. Several studies suggest that patients with symptomatic CW have a high risk of recurrent stroke, but high-quality data are lacking.

This study aimed to assess the 2-year risk of recurrent stroke in patients with a symptomatic CW.

A comparative cohort study used data from the MR CLEAN trial (from 2010-2014) and MR CLEAN Registry (from 2014-2017). The MR CLEAN trial and MR CLEAN Registry were nationwide prospective multicenter studies on endovascular treatment (EVT) of large vessel occlusion (LVO) stroke in the Netherlands.

Baseline data were from 3439 consecutive adult patients with anterior circulation LVO stroke and available computed tomography (CT)–angiography of the carotid bulb. Two neuroradiologists reevaluated CT-angiography images for presence or absence of CW and identified 30 patients with CW ipsilateral to the index stroke. For these 30 eligible CW participants, detailed follow-up data regarding stroke recurrence within 2 years were acquired.

These 30 patients with CW ipsilateral to the index stroke were compared with 168 patients without CW who participated in the MR CLEAN extended follow-up trial and who were randomized to the EVT arm.

The primary outcome was recurrent stroke occurring within 2 years after the index stroke. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to compare recurrent stroke rates within 2 years for patients with and without CW, adjusted for age and sex. The research question was formulated prior to data collection.

-- Of 3439 patients with baseline CT-angiography assessed, the median age was 72 years and 1813 (53%) were men.

-- Patients with CW were younger than patients without CW.

-- Twenty-eight of 30 patients (93%) received medical management after the index stroke (23 with antiplatelet therapy and 5 with anticoagulant therapy).

-- During 2 years of follow-up, 5 of 30 patients (17%) with CW had a recurrent stroke compared with 5 of 168 patients (3%) without CW.

Conclusively, in this study, 1 of 6 patients with a symptomatic CW had a recurrent stroke within 2 years, suggesting that medical management alone may not provide sufficient protection for patients with CW.