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Revista Ecuatoriana de Neurología

On-line version ISSN 2631-2581Print version ISSN 1019-8113


MARTA-ENGUITA, Juan  and  MUNOZ, Roberto. Carotid Free-Floating Thrombus: Case Report. Rev Ecuat Neurol [online]. 2020, vol.29, n.1, pp.153-157. ISSN 2631-2581.

Carotid free-floating thrombus (FFT) is a rare cause of ischemic stroke, usually detected during etiologic vascular studies. There is no consensus regarding the management of carotid free-floating thrombi in those patients.

A 83-year-old male presented to the emergency department with right hemiparesis and dysarthria, consistent with finding of multiple left hemispheric brain infarcts on neuroimaging. Contrast CT showed a free-floating thrombus fixed to an atheroma plaque in left internal carotid artery (ICA). Holter monitorization registered a not previously noticed paroxystic atrial fibrillation. Due to findings, sodic heparinization was started and serial ecosonographic monitoring of the thrombus was performed. He was discharged home with a clot reduction >50% with oral anticoagulant therapy (rivaroxaban 20mg daily). At 2 months, ecographic control was realized without residual clot in left ICA.

Oral anticoagulation is currently the first therapeutic option that should be considered when a FFT is detected. In some reported case series, simple antiplatelet therapy was associated. Deferred surgical endarterectomy has a limited therapeutic gap in these patients when an ulcerated atheroma plaque or a significant stenosis carotid stenosis are detected. Surgical thrombectomy is reported only in few cases series. Endovascular therapies are steadily growing as an effective option when a FFT is detected, usually associated with distal protection devices to avoid distal embolization.

Keywords : Free-floating thrombus; Atrial fibrillation; Sodic heparinization; Internal carotid artery.

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