A dissertation from a student at Umeå University in Sweden suggest that ultrasound could be used to identify patients at increased risk of future stroke who could benefit from surgery.

Ultrasound is commonly used to study the presence of atherosclerosis in blood vessels. However, since surgery to prevent stroke is only considered beneficial to some people, ultrasound may be able to prevent unnecessary surgical intervention, explains a media release from Umeå University.

Atherosclerosis in the neck arteries can cause stroke. However, significant narrowing in symptomatic patients can be treated surgically, per the release.

“We know that preventive surgical treatment of carotid stenosis is only beneficial for a small subgroup, and that most asymptomatic patients will do better with only medical therapy. By using ultrasound, we can identify the patients who are at a higher risk of stroke and thus would benefit from surgery,” says Fisnik Jashari, doctoral student at the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine and author of the dissertation, in the release.

“But preventing unnecessary surgical intervention in most cases is equally important,” he adds.

[Source(s): Umeå University, Science Daily]