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J Vasc Surg. 1998 Jan;27(1):25-31; discussion 31-3.

Influence of age and hospital volume on the results of carotid endarterectomy: a statewide analysis of 9918 cases.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD 21287-4685, USA.



This study evaluated the impact of patient age and hospital volume on the results of carotid endarterectomy (CEA) in contemporary practice.


The Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission (MHSCRC) database was reviewed to identify all patients who underwent elective CEA as the primary procedure in all acute care hospitals in the state over the past 6 years.


From January 1990 through December 1995, 9918 elective CEAs were performed in 48 hospitals at a total charge of $68.9 million. Postoperative death and neurologic complications occurred in 90 (0.9%) and 166 (1.7%) cases, including 0.8% and 1.7%, 0.9% and 1.6%, 0.9% and 1.8%, and 1.4% and 1.3% of patients < 65 years, 65 to 69 years, 70 to 79 years, and > or = 80 years old, respectively. The mean length of stay and hospital charges increased linearly with increasing age: 4.2 days/$6550, 4.4 days/$6834, 4.8 days/$7059, and 5.6 days (p < 0.0001 vs others)/$7756 (p < 0.005 vs 70 to 79 years and p < 0.0003 vs < 70 years old), respectively, for patients < 65, 65 to 69, 70 to 79, and > or = 80 years old. The mortality rate was 1.9% in low-volume hospitals, 1.1% in moderate-volume hospitals, and 0.8% in high-volume hospitals. The neurologic complication rate was significantly higher (6.1%; p < 0.0001) in low-volume when compared with moderate-volume (1.3%) and high-volume (1.8%) hospitals.


CEA is a safe procedure in the majority of hospitals in contemporary practice, even among the very elderly, who may experience a longer length of stay and higher charges correlating with their documented greater medical complexity.

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