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A Journal on Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery

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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2006 June;47(3):297-303

language: English

Evolution of the treatment of carotid occlusive disease: indications for carotid angioplasty and stenting versus carotid endarterectomy

Derubertis B. G., Chaer R. A., Hynecek R. L., Craig Kent K., Faries P. L.

Division of Vascular Surgery New York Presbyterian Hospital Cornell University, Weill Medical School and Columbia University
College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA


Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) was established as the gold standard for treatment of carotid occlusive disease by several landmark papers published in the 1990’s. Several decades of experience with CEA, however, has revealed high-risk subsets of patients in whom CEA carries increased risk of adverse events. These patients have subsequently been the focus of several randomized trials and registry databases which evaluated and proved non-inferiority of carotid angioplasty and stenting (CAS) in recent years. CAS is now considered an appropriate and equivalent alternative to CEA in these high-risk patients, defined by the presence of severe cardiac, pulmonary, or renal disease or by the presence of local factors such as prior neck radiation, prior neck operations, contralateral carotid occlusion, or surgically inaccessible lesions. Although ongoing trials in normal-risk patients may ultimately expand the indications for CAS, there is currently insufficient evidence to recommend CAS in these patients over CEA. In addition, specific subsets of patients, such as octogenarians or those with anatomic complexity, may have increased incidence of adverse events with CAS and are best served by CEA.

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