Intracranial atherosclerotic disease

Neurobiol Dis. 2019 Apr;124:118-132. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2018.11.008. Epub 2018 Nov 12.


Intracranial atherosclerosis (ICAS) is a progressive pathological process that causes progressive stenosis and cerebral hypoperfusion and is a major cause of stroke occurrence and recurrence around the world. Multiple factors contribute to the development of ICAS. Angiography imaging techniques can improve the diagnosis of and the selection of appropriate treatment regimens for ICAS. Neither aggressive medication nor endovascular interventions can eradicate stroke recurrence in patients with ICAS. Non-pharmacological therapies such as remote ischemic conditioning and hypothermia are emerging. Comprehensive therapy with medication in combination with endovascular intervention and/or non-pharmacological treatment may be a potential strategy for ICAS treatment in the future. We summarized the epidemiology, pathophysiological mechanisms, risk factors, biomarkers, imaging and management of ICAS.

Keywords: Angiography; Biomarker; Diagnosis; Intracranial atherosclerosis; Ischemic conditioning; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / pathology
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arteriosclerosis / complications
  • Intracranial Arteriosclerosis / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / epidemiology*
  • Stroke / etiology