Microbleeds after Carotid Artery Stenting: Small Embolism May Induce Cerebral Microbleeds.


Department of Neurology, Mie University Graduate School of Medicine, Tsu, Japan, [Email]


BACKGROUND : Since the advent of magnetic resonance imaging technology, cerebral microbleeds can be diagnosed in vivo. However, the underlying mechanism of cerebral microbleed formation is not fully understood.
OBJECTIVE : This study aimed to identify the factors associated with cerebral microbleeds after carotid artery stenting (CAS).
METHODS : We retrospectively examined 125 patients who underwent CAS for carotid stenosis. Cerebral microbleeds were investigated using T2*-weighted gradient-echo (GRE) imaging before and after CAS. We analyzed the possible association of new microbleeds with the following risk factors: the number of baseline microbleeds and ischemic cerebral lesions, the occurrence of cerebral hyperperfusion syndrome, and new ischemic cerebral lesions after CAS.
RESULTS : Baseline cerebral microbleeds were detected in 53 patients (42.4%). New cerebral microbleeds after CAS were observed in 13 of 125 patients (10.4%) and were exclusively associated with new ischemic lesions but not with other risk factors. No patient showed a merged image of a new cerebral microbleed on GRE imaging or a new ischemic lesion on diffusion-weighted imaging. Lobar and deep microbleeds were noted in 12/13 (92.3%) and 1 patient (7.7%), respectively. Of 12 patients with new microbleeds, 10 (76.9%) and 2 (15.4%) had a new microbleed in the ipsilateral and contralateral hemispheres, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS : We found that new cerebral microbleeds developed after CAS and that these might be associated with new ischemic lesions, mostly in the territory of the treated carotid artery. We speculate that these microbleeds result from the deoxygenation of hemoglobin in the embolus or, alternatively, small hemorrhagic transformation of ischemic lesions.


Carotid artery,Cerebral infarction,Embolism,Microbleed,Stent,