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April 1989

The Effect of Radiation on Carotid Arteries: A Review Article

Author Affiliations

From the Stroke Research Center, Wake Forest University Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC.

Arch Neurol. 1989;46(4):449-455. doi:10.1001/archneur.1989.00520400109029

• The effects of irradiation on blood vessels supplying the brain are reviewed. Short-term and long-term effects on large arteries result in an atheroscleroticlike disorder. The response may have a latency up to 20 years before the onset of symptoms and signs. This delay is probably related to the diameter of the irradiated artery; the interval is longer for larger arteries. However, it is possible that the apparent injury to the large arteries is in fact due to occlusion of the vasa vasorum because the microvasculature is especially vulnerable to radiation damage.