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CURRENT ISSUETHE JOURNAL OF CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY

A Journal on Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery


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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2015 December;56(6):827-36

language: English

Patient characteristics and outcomes of carotid endarterectomy and carotid artery stenting: analysis of the German mandatory national quality assurance registry - 2003 to 2014

Kallmayer M. A. 1, Tsantilas P. 1, Knappich C. 1, Haller B. 2, Storck M. 3, 4, Stadlbauer T. 1, Kühnl A. 1, Zimmermann A. 1, Eckstein H.-H. 1

1 Department for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany;
2 Institute for Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany;
3 Department for Vascular and Thoracic Surgery, Städtisches Klinikum Karlsruhe, Germany;
4 Commision for Quality and Safety, German Vascular Society, (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gefäßchirurgie und Gefäßmedizin, DGG), Berlin, Germany


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AIM: In Germany, every surgical or endovascular procedure on the extracranial carotid artery is documented in a mandatory quality assurance registry. The purpose of this study is to describe the patient characteristics, the indications for treatment, and the short-term outcomes as well as to analyse the corresponding trends from 2003 to 2014.
METHODS: Data on demographics, peri-procedural measures, and outcomes were extracted from the annual quality reports published by the Federal Agency for Quality Assurance and the Institute for Applied Quality Improvement and Research in Health Care. Data were available from 2003 to 2014 for carotid endarterectomy (CEA) and from 2012 to 2014 for carotid artery stenting (CAS). The primary outcome event of this study is any stroke or death until discharge from hospital. Temporal trends of categorical variables were statistically analysed using the Cochran-Armitage test for trend.
RESULTS: Between 2003 and 2014, 309,405 CEAs and 18,047 CAS procedures were documented in the database; 68.1% of all patients were male. The mean age of patients treated with CEA increased from 68.9 years in 2003 to 70.9 years in 2014. The proportion of patients with ASA stages III to V increased from 65% to 71% in CEA, whereas it decreased from 44% to 41% in CAS patients. 53.1% of all CEAs were performed for asymptomatic patients (group A), 34.4% for symptomatic patients treated electively (group B), and 11.2% a in a collective group including other indications for CEA or CAS (such as recurrent stenosis, carotid aneurysms, emergency treatment due to stroke-in-evolution). The corresponding data for CAS are 49.3%, 26.1% and 26.3% respectively. In group B, the interval between the neurological index event and CEA decreased from 28 to 8 days (P<0.001). In patients treated with CAS, this interval was 9 days in 2012 (no further data available). On average, 67.1% and 48.2% of surgically treated patients as well as 77.8% and 69.8% of CAS patients were neurologically assessed before and after the procedure, respectively. From 2003 to 2014, CEA procedures were performed more frequently in locoregional anesthesia (10.1% to 29.1%, P<0.001). The same trend was observed for the application of the eversion technique (37.0% to 41.6%, P<0.001), the neurophysiological monitoring (49.8% to 61.8%, P<0.001), and the intra-procedural assessment of the treated artery (44.5% to 69.7%, P<0.001). In contrast, shunting was used less frequently (48.1% to 43.0%, P<0.001). Averagely 95.7% of all endovascular procedures were performed using stent-angioplasty. In 54.2% a protection device was used. Nitinol and bare metal stents were used in 74.1% and 21.4% of cases, respectively. The in-hospital rate of any stroke or death decreased from 2.0% to 1.1% in asymptomatic patients treated with CEA without a contralateral stenosis ≥75% or occlusion, P<0.001). In patients treated with CAS this rate did not increase (1.7% to 1.8%, p=0.909). The corresponding rates in CEA and CAS patients with severe contralateral stenosis or occlusion varied between 1.9%-3.1% and 2.2%-2.6%, respectively. In symptomatic patients (group B) with a stenosis of 50 percent or more, the rate of any stroke or death decreased significantly after CEA from 4.2% to 2.4% (P<0.001) and remained stable after CAS (3.9% to 3.5%, P=0.577).
CONCLUSION: This report on 327,452 carotid procedures analysed one of the largest quality registries on CEA and CAS worldwide. Data indicate that treated patients became older and sicker, whereas in contrast, the in-hospital rates of stroke or death are decreasing over time.

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