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Preventing Another Stroke

Secondary Treatment of Ischemic Stroke

Secondary treatment is focused on diagnosing and treating the condition that caused the stroke.

Carotid artery stenosis is the narrowing of the two large blood vessels in the neck that supply blood to the brain. The narrowing is usually caused by the buildup of cholesterol. This condition accounts for approximately 25 percent of ischemic stroke occurrences. UC San Diego Health System neurosurgeons treat carotid artery stenosis through:

  • Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) - the surgical removal plaque in the artery
  • Carotid artery stenting (CAS) - the minimally invasive placement of a stent in the artery using catheters to prevent the artery from narrowing

Read more about carotid artery disease.

Intracranial atherosclerotic disease (ICAD) refers to the narrowing of arteries in the brain. Approximately 10 percent of strokes occur due to ICAD. UC San Diego Health System neurologists work closely with our endovascular neurosurgeons to provide aggressive medical management of this condition. When necessary, balloon angioplasty (widening of the arteries) or intracranial stenting is performed.

CT angiography showing bilateral narrowing of arteries in brain with calcified plaques.

Catheter angiogram showing blockage of right vertebral artery.

Catheter angiogram showing blockage of left vertebral artery.

Completely restored blood flow in the brain by a single Wingspan intracranial stent.

Click on Images for a Larger Picture

Cardiogenic causes, including arrhythmias and patent foramen ovale (PFO) account for approximately 20 percent of strokes. UC San Diego neurosurgeons, neurologists and cardiologists work in a multidisciplinary team to treat cardiogenic conditions, such as surgically correcting PFO to prevent stroke. Read more about our Electrophysiology Program.

Hematologic causes of stroke, including bleeding disorders, are treated by the combined expertise of neurosurgeons, neurologists and hematologists to medically manage hematologic disorders associated with ischemic stroke.

For more information on the treatment of ischemic stroke, contact the Stroke Center at 619-543-5529.

Read information about hemorrhagic stroke.