What is the prevalence of cholesterol embolism syndrome?

Updated: Oct 25, 2019
  • Author: Lisa Kirkland, MD, FACP, FCCM, MSHA; Chief Editor: Vincent Lopez Rowe, MD  more...
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Answer

Estimates of the incidence of cholesterol embolic disease are usually based on autopsy data. Tissue sections from patients with the following diseases or procedures indicate the incidence of atheroembolic events:

  • Aortic aneurysms (31%)
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm repair (up to 77%)
  • Severe aortic disease (13-16%)
  • Mild aortic disease (1-2%)

Of patients undergoing angiography, 25-30% may have atheroembolic events, whereas 2.5-3% of patients undergoing percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) vein grafts and 1.4-3% of patients undergoing renal artery angioplasty or cardiac catheterization have been reported to have clinical signs of atheroemboli. CES has been reported as occurring months after thrombolytic therapy for stroke, but the true incidence is unknown. [2, 3]


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