The association of carotid artery stenosis with carotid sinus hypersensitivity. Transitory cerebral ischaemic attack provoked by carotid sinus reflex

J Cardiovasc Surg (Torino). 1990 Nov-Dec;31(6):693-6.


The association of internal carotid stenosis with the carotid sinus syndrome represents a special clinical entity. Transitory cerebral ischaemic attack (TIA) will usually be manifested by activation of carotid sinus reflex. Eighteen patients were observed suffering from both carotid sinus hypersensitivity and TIA. The patients had had TIA's for many years. Unilateral internal carotid stenosis was detected in 15 cases, while 3 patients had bilateral carotid stenosis. On carotid sinus stimulation, syncope appeared and a TIA could be provoked. The mean duration of the syncopic attack was 5500 ms and was based on sinus arrest in 14 cases and on third degree AV block in 4 cases. In all patients carotid artery disobliteration was performed; in 14 patients pacemaker implantation was necessary, while 4 patients could be treated by atropine medication. The development of a TIA could be abolished in every patient and 14 patients remained totally symptom free.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angiography
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / complications*
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / surgery
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / complications*
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / diagnosis
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / physiopathology
  • Carotid Artery, Internal
  • Carotid Sinus / physiopathology*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Electrophysiology
  • Endarterectomy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pacemaker, Artificial
  • Reflex* / physiology
  • Sick Sinus Syndrome / complications
  • Sick Sinus Syndrome / etiology
  • Syncope / etiology*