JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Internal carotid artery fibromuscular dysplasia in arterial hypertension: management in clinical practice.

Fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) reminds of a rare form of secondary arterial hypertension occurring in young people and involving the renal arteries. FMD may also involve vertebral, subclavian, mesenteric, iliac arteries and carotid arteries. FMD of internal carotid arteries is a rare finding that is frequently incidental and asymptomatic. It usually occurs in middle-aged women and is secondary to media-intima fibrodysplasia. The carotid artery may be elongated or kinked and associated cerebral aneurysms have been reported. Symptoms including transient ischaemic attack or stroke are uncommon and are related to decrease of blood flow or embolization by platelet aggregates. At the onset, differential diagnosis with vasculitis must be placed. Computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) angiography demonstrates bilateral high-grade stenosis with the characteristic "string of beads" pattern. Antiplatelet medication is the accepted therapy for asymptomatic lesions. Graduated endoluminal surgical dilation is an outmoded therapy, no longer used in most medical centres. Current percutaneous angioplasty is the preferred treatment for symptomatic carotid FMD, but no randomized controlled trials comparing this methodology with surgery is available. The management of a case of arterial systemic FMD in a 52-year-old women, diagnosed after a hypertensive crysis, is discussed. Imaging methods disclosed stenoses of carotid arteries, of celiac tripod and of superior mesenteric artery. Because of high risk associated to endovascular surgery, medical therapy was started. In the first year of follow-up, no events have been reported.

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