Wednesday 13 September 2017

The arteries of the neck supply blood to the brain, and when they narrow through disease (artherosclerosis) they can increase the risk of a person suffering a stroke.

Stenting of the carotid arteries (running up the sides of the neck) is a common procedure to reduce this risk. Stenting involves inserting a metal mesh into the artery to help widen it and improve blood flow.

However, a new study published in the journal Neurology suggests that stenting of the vertebral arteries (that run up the neck behind the carotid arteries) appears safe too. Despite the new finding being promising, larger clinical trials would be needed to confirm whether vertebral artery stenting reduces stroke risk.

The Stroke Association funded the pilot phase of this work in a grant (TSA 2007-07) to Professor Hugh Markus, now at the University of Cambridge.

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