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International Angiology 2011 August;30(4):342-8


language: English

Kinking of carotid arteries is not a mechanism of cerebral ischemia: a functional evaluation by Doppler echography

Beigelman R. 1, Izaguirre A. M. 1, Robles M. 1, Grana D. R. 1, Ambrosio G. 2, Milei J. 1

1 Prof. Dr. Alberto C. Taquini Cardiologic Investigation Institute, Faculty of Medicine, University of Buenos Aires – CONICET, Buenos Aires, Argentina; 2 Department of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Physiopathology, Perugia University Hospital, Perugia, Italy


AIM:The aim of this paper was to evaluate the hemodynamic behavior of carotid kinking, as assessed by color Doppler ultrasonography at baseline and during neck movements, and their relation to neurological symptoms.
METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, 60 consecutive patients with non-atheromatous carotid kinking in whom diagnostic color Doppler ultrasonography investigation of neck vessels had been requested for clinical suspicion of atherosclerotic disease were evaluated. To evaluate if there were significant changes of blood velocities as a consequence of kinking, for each carotid artery we recorded systolic and diastolic velocities both in the segments proximal to kinking, as well as intra-kinking. The effects of postural changes and neck movements on carotid blood flow were also studied.
RESULTS: Flow in carotid arteries with kinking was always normal, and no differences were found between flow velocity measured at the level of kinking compared to the normal tract of the vessel. During head rotation tests, flow remained largely unaffected, a substantial reduction in the velocities in the ophthalmic artery was found in 13.5% of the cases, while an increase was recorded in 27%; and no symptoms or events were recorded during the study. None of the patients referred symptoms, nor were neurological events or signs detected during the maneuvers.
CONCLUSION:Our results show that carotid kinks are not a mechanism of acute cerebral ischemia, and therefore are unlikely to be a cause of neurological events or symptoms.

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