Edinburgh Imaging

MSc projects 1617 002

The prevalence of symptomatic intracranial arterial stenosis & its risk factors: a meta-analysis.

  • Background: Stroke is the third most common cause of disability and second most common cause of death worldwide, intracranial artery stenosis (ICAS) being a very common cause of ischaemic stroke. The extent to which various risk factors contribute to this is uncertain and some demographic variability may reflect variable risk factor exposure. We aim to determine the degree to which various risk factors contribute to the incidence of ICAS, the proportion that may potentially be due to modifiable vascular risk factor exposure and whether different imaging techniques may account for some of these apparent differences.
  • Methods: A search of several publication databases and key journals was conducted, without language restriction, for studies investigating ICAS prevalence. Literature search was conducted on MEDLINE, COCHRANE database, EMBASE, Google Scholar and hand-searching key journals (Stroke, Circulation and Cerebrovascular Diseases) for publications dated from 1948 to February, 2017. Data on the prevalence of total and symptomatic ICAS along with its risk factors were extracted and meta-analysed.
  • Results: Sixty three studies of 48,000 subjects were examined. Diabetes, hypertension and metabolic syndrome are associated with ICAS. Adjusting for these risk factors attenuated many ethnic differences.
  • Conclusions: Modifiable risk factors play an important role in the pathogenesis of symptomatic ICAS. Heterogeneity in study methods leaves many questions unanswered. Further research is needed to better understand its risk factor influences to inform preventive strategies for ICAS-related stroke.

Project type:

  • Meta-analysis
  • Systematic review
Imaging keywords:
Application / disease keywords:
  • 16-17