2017 Volume 81 Issue 9 Pages 1246-1253
Selection of patients with atherosclerotic carotid stenosis for revascularization is mainly based on the degree of luminal narrowing of the carotid artery. However, identification of other features of plaque apart from the degree of stenosis could enable better selection for intervention if they are also associated with the occurrence of stroke. Before these risk factors can possibly play a role in treatment decisions, their prognostic value needs to be proven. The purpose of this narrative review is to summarize current knowledge regarding the risk factors for stroke in patients with carotid stenosis, how they can be determined, and to what extent they predict stroke, based on recent literature. References for this review were identified by searches of PubMed between 1995 and October, 2016 and references from relevant articles. For each topic in this review different relevant search terms were used. The main search terms were ‘carotid stenosis’, ‘atherosclerosis’, ‘stroke risk’, and ‘vulnerable plaque’. Language was restricted to English. The final reference list was generated on the basis of relevance to the topics covered in this review.