University of Wisconsin–Madison

Long-term Cognitive Effects of Microembolization Associated with Carotid Angioplasty and Stenting

February 2014 to February 2017

The carotid arteries supply blood to the brain. Carotid stenosis refers to the blockage and narrowing of the carotid artery in the neck. Carotid Angioplasty and Stenting (CAS) has become a popular intervention in treating carotid stenosis. Despite the widespread use of cerebral protection devices, there is risk of embolic events post CAS. However, our understanding of subclinical microembolization is superficial. The purpose of this study is to determine the clinical significance of the development of MRI abnormalities and changes in cognitive function for patients with subclinical microemboli, and to evaluate the patient-related risk factors for subclinical microembolization following CAS. Through collaborative efforts of multidisciplinary team-experts, novel approaches, and longitudinal evaluations, we hope to better understand the clinical significance and long-term cognitive effects of microemboli. The identification of embolic events and cognitive assessment after CAS and carotid endarterectomy (CEA) will be important for directing the future treatment of carotid disease particularly in those patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis.

This project led by: Vivek Prabhakaran, MD, PhD