Morphological characteristics of symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid webs.

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE: Carotid webs (CWs) are an increasingly recognized source of recurrent stroke among young patients without conventional vascular risk factors. There have been no previous studies demonstrating that specific web morphological characteristics correlate with a higher stroke risk. The authors aim to report distinct morphological features of symptomatic and asymptomatic CWs. METHODS: The authors performed a cross-sectional study of patients with CWs detected on CT angiography (CTA) of the neck. Patients were categorized based on whether or not they presented with stroke ipsilaterally and if it was likely to be attributable to their web. The following CW morphological variables were recorded and compared based on CTA: length, thickness, angle, and the proportion of carotid bulb lumen occupied by the web (web-to-bulb ratio [WBR]). RESULTS: A total of 86 CWs were identified, 14 of which presented with stroke (16.3%). Patients presenting with stroke had webs that were significantly longer (4.18 mm vs 2.20 mm, p = 0.001) and were situated at more acute angles relative to the carotid wall (73.2° vs 94.9°, p = 0.004). Additionally, patients presenting with stroke had higher WBRs compared to the asymptomatic cohort (0.50 vs 0.36, p = 0.008). The optimal threshold associated with stroke was web length ≥ 3.1 mm (OR 15.2, 95% CI 3.73-61.8; p < 0.001), web angle ≤ 90.1° (OR 5.00, 95% CI 1.42-17.6; p = 0.012), and WBR ≥ 0.50 (OR 30.0, 95% CI 5.94-151; p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with CWs that occupy more than half of the diameter of the carotid bulb lumen and are situated at acute angles relative to the carotid wall are more likely to present with acute ischemic stroke. Additional studies are needed to determine the long-term outcomes of these lesions.
  • Published In


  • carotid web, stroke, vascular disorders
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    Author List

  • Tabibian BE; Parr M; Salehani A; Mahavadi A; Rahm S; Kaur M; Howell S; Jones JG; Liptrap E; Harrigan MR
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