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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2020 April;61(2):149-58

DOI: 10.23736/S0021-9509.20.11179-0

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Safety of urgent carotid endarterectomy following thrombolysis

Clayton J. BRINSTER , W. Charles STERNBERGH III

Section of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, Ochsner Clinic Foundation, New Orleans, LA, USA



INTRODUCTION: Acute ischemic stroke is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, and the incidence of ischemic stroke is predicted to increase in coming years. Carotid atherosclerotic occlusive disease accounts for up to 20% of all ischemic strokes, and mounting evidence suggests that, in the setting of an acute ischemic stroke due to carotid disease, earlier treatment with carotid intervention results in better outcomes. In patients with acute ischemic stroke, systemic or intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) has revolutionized ischemic stroke therapy, and intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) has become the principal treatment for acute ischemic stroke when administered within 3 to 4.5 hours of neurologic symptom onset. Given these trends in acute ischemic stroke therapy, vascular specialists are increasingly asked to perform carotid intervention following IVT, but reports in the literature examining outcomes in this circumstance are scarce, and the data regarding the appropriate interval from IVT to carotid endarterectomy (CEA) remains controversial.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: Literature searches were performed in PubMed (MEDLINE) and Ovid examining journal articles published between January 1st, 1998 and September 30th, 2019. The search terms used were: “urgent carotid endarterectomy,” “carotid endarterectomy” AND “thrombolysis,” “acute stroke and thrombolysis,” “timing of carotid endarterectomy,” and various combinations of these terms.
EVIDENCE SYTNHESIS: A total of 21 published reports detailing outcomes in 1165 patients have been published to date, with an average interval from IVT to CEA of 7.1 days, a cumulative 30-day stroke and death rate of 4.1% (0-18%) and a mean frequency of intracranial hemorrhage of 2.6% (0-18%). The aggregate data from the 21 reported series suggest that CEA can be performed safely within the first 14 days after the onset of neurologic symptoms in patients receiving antecedent IVT, however, data regarding the safety of urgent CEA within 48 to 72 hours of thrombolysis is conflicting, with some series reporting excellent results and others showing an increased risk of ICH, stroke, and/or death in these select patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Given the trend toward expedited treatment of acute ischemic stroke with subsequent transfer to regional referral centers, vascular specialists will be confronted with an increasing number of patients who may require urgent CEA after antecedent IVT. Further study is warranted to clearly delineate the appropriate interval from IVT to CEA and, specifically, to establish the safety of CEA with 72 hours of tPA administration.


KEY WORDS: Carotid endarterectomy; Thrombolytic therapy; Stroke

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