Implementation of best medical treatment (BMT) is the cornerstone of the management of patients with either asymptomatic or symptomatic carotid artery stenosis. We review the literature to define the components of BMT. Smoking cessation, maintaining a healthy body weight, moderate exercise, and a Mediterranean diet are essential lifestyle measures. Moderate alcohol consumption may also be beneficial but recommending it to patients may be hazardous if they consume too much. The importance of lifestyle measures is largely underestimated by both physicians and patients. Blood pressure and diabetes control, antiplatelet agents, and lipid-lowering treatment with statins/ezetimibe comprise the pharmacological components of BMT. Initiation of an intensive regimen of BMT is a sine qua non for patients with carotid artery stenosis whether or not they are offered or undergo an invasive revascularization procedure.
Keywords: asymptomatic; best medical treatment; carotid stenosis; stroke; symptomatic.
© The Author(s) 2015.