Occlusive Cerebrovascular Disease

Occlusive cerebrovascular disease refers to blockages or narrowing that may occur in blood vessels that supply the brain or in the brain blood vessels themselves. These blockages or areas of narrowing may result from atherosclerotic (fatty) deposits in the blood vessels. Carotid artery disease (CAD) is a common version of this problem. In addition to atherosclerotic disease, other disorders such as Moyamoya disease and trauma (head or neck injuries) can lead to occlusive cerebrovascular disease. Occlusive cerebrovascular disease is a risk factor for ischemic stroke. Many stroke risk factors are also risk factors for occlusive cerebrovascular disease, and many of the things that can be done for stroke prevention work by preventing or controlling occlusive cerebrovascular disease. If these preventative measures fail to adequately control the blood vessel narrowing, then some patients may require specialized procedures to fix or repair their vessels in order to reduce the risk of future stroke. Some of these procedures include, carotid endarterectomy, carotid angioplasty and stenting, and intracranial angioplasty and stenting. Unfortunately, sometimes, despite medications and preventative procedures, a large brain blood vessel may become completely blocked or clotted and an ischemic stroke will begin to develop. In certain circumstances, if this is found early enough procedures can be done to remove the clot (clot retrieval or mechanical thrombectomy).