How do intracranial and extracranial arterial stenosis affect stroke risk in SCD patients?

New study findings have highlighted a strong link between intracranial arterial stenosis and stroke in younger patients with sickle cell disease (SCD).

Researchers at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, USA, prospectively assessed the prevalence and contribution of intracranial and extracranial arterial stenosis to stroke risk in children and young adults (aged 6-44 years) with SCD.

In the period 2014-2019 they recruited 167 participants with SCD (79 children, 88 young adults; mean age 19.4 years), who underwent a detailed assessment including neurological examination, brain MRI, and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) of the head and neck.

A total of 20 of the 167 participants (12%) were found to have intracranial stenosis: 5 children (6.3%) and 15 young adults (17%).