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Indexed/Abstracted in: e-psyche, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Neuroscience Citation Index, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,651
Online ISSN 1827-1855
Andaluz N. 1, Zuccarello M. 1,2
1 Department of Neurosurgery The Neuroscience Institute University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine Cincinnati, OH, USA
2 Mayfield Clinic, Cincinnati, OH, USA
Carotid stenosis is an important cause of transient ischemic attacks and stroke. The cause of carotid stenosis is most often atherosclerosis, which accounts for 10% to 20% of brain infarction cases. Despite the introduction of tissue-plasminogen activator and other promising experimental therapies for select patients with acute ischemic stroke prevention remains the best approach to reduce its impact. Stroke-prone patients can be identified and targeted for specific interventions. At this juncture, treatment of carotid stenosis is a well-established therapeutic target and a pillar of stroke prevention. Two main strategies exist for the treatment of carotid stenosis. The 1st is stabilization or halting the progression of the carotid plaque formation with medications and modifications of risk factors (e.g., hypertension, diabetes, smoking, obesity, high cholesterol). The 2nd approach is the elimination or reduction of carotid stenosis by carotid endarterectomy or angioplasty and stenting. Carotid endarterectomy is the mainstay of therapy for symptomatic, severe carotid stenosis. Although its role for asymptomatic patients appears more limited, it is distinct for severe stenosis. Carotid angioplasty and stenting are techniques in maturation with the attractiveness of being less invasive that face the challenge of at least replicating the results of surgery. In this article, we will discuss the surgical management of symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid stenosis based on the evidence provided by the literature.