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Stroke. 2003 Mar;34(3):813-9. Epub 2003 Feb 13.

Early outcome of carotid angioplasty and stenting with and without cerebral protection devices: a systematic review of the literature.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany. andreas.kastrup@uni-tuebingen.de



Carotid angioplasty and stenting (CAS) is increasingly being used for treatment of symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid artery disease (CAD). To evaluate the efficacy of cerebral protection devices in preventing thromboembolic complications during CAS, we conducted a systematic review of studies reporting on the incidence of minor stroke, major stroke, or death within 30 days after CAS.


We searched for studies published between January 1990 and June 2002 by means of a PubMed search and a cumulative review of reference lists of all relevant publications. In 2357 patients a total of 2537 CAS procedures had been performed without protection devices, and in 839 patients 896 CAS procedures had been performed with protection devices. Both groups were similar with respect to age, sex distribution, cerebrovascular risk factors, and indications for CAS. In many studies the periprocedural complication rates had not been presented separately for patients with symptomatic and asymptomatic CAD. The combined stroke and death rate within 30 days in both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients was 1.8% in patients treated with cerebral protection devices compared with 5.5% in patients treated without cerebral protection devices (chi2=19.7, P<0.001). This effect was mainly due to a decrease in the occurrence of minor strokes (3.7% without cerebral protection versus 0.5% with cerebral protection; chi2=22.4, P<0.001) and major strokes (1.1% without cerebral protection versus 0.3% with cerebral protection; chi2=4.3, P<0.05), whereas death rates were almost identical (approximately 0.8%; chi2=0.3, P=0.6).


On the basis of this early analysis of single-center studies, the use of cerebral protection devices appears to reduce thromboembolic complications during CAS. These technical aspects should be taken into account before the initiation of further randomized trials comparing CAS with carotid endarterectomy.

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