INTRODUCTION: The objective of this single-center pilot study was to assess if symptomatic intracranial atherosclerotic disease (ICAD) ultrasound features change through the 2 years after acute ischemic stroke or TIA, being ICAD a relevant cause of acute ischemic stroke or TIA, linked to high rates of recurrent stroke.
METHODS: We consecutively enrolled 48 patients with acute ischemic stroke or TIA with symptomatic ICAD detected by transcranial color-coded duplex sonography (TCCS) and confirmed by MR-angiography and/or CT-angiography. We set a neurosonological and clinical follow-up at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months (T0, T1, T2, T3, and T4).
RESULTS: We observed that the hemodynamic effect of the stenosis changed during the 2-year follow-up, as revealed by the modifications of Peak Systolic Velocity (PSV) (Friedman-ANOVA test, p < 0.001). The pairwise post-hoc analysis showed a statistically significant difference between PSV at T0 and PSV at T3 (p = 0.005) and between PSV at T0 and PSV at T4 (p < 0.001) being PSV at T3 and T4 lower than PSV at T0. Seven patients had a new event in the first 12 months.
CONCLUSIONS: The high rate of recurrent stroke or death among ICAD patients seems to be independent of progressive arterial narrowing. A wide multicenter follow-up study is needed in order to identify the factors that, alongside the hemodynamic features, contribute to the high risk of recurrent stroke among patient with symptomatic ICAD.