Surgical management of the patient with bilateral internal carotid artery occlusion
Carotid Artery, Internal
The patient with bilateral internal carotid artery occlusion is at high risk for development of stroke. Medical management and extracranial-intracranial bypass do not appear to offer these patients any protection from symptoms of cerebrovascular insufficiency. Our initial treatment in 11 of 12 patients who had this pattern of extracranial arterial occlusion has been external carotid artery revascularization. Nineteen procedures were performed for symptomatic lesions in all cases except one. There were no perioperative strokes or deaths. During a mean follow-up of 44.7 months, no new strokes occurred. Among 10 patients undergoing external carotid artery revascularization alone, only one transient ischemic attack occurred in follow-up. Seven of the eight surviving patients are presently asymptomatic. External carotid artery revascularization may be an effective and durable treatment for the patient with bilateral internal carotid artery occlusion.