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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2001;(1):CD001921.

Eversion versus conventional carotid endarterectomy for preventing stroke.

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  • 1Unita' Operativa di Chirurgia Vascolare, Via Brunamonti, Perugia, Italy, 06122.



Carotid endarterectomy is conventionally undertaken by a longitudinal arteriotomy. Eversion carotid endarterectomy (CEA), which employs a transverse arteriotomy and reimplantation of the carotid artery, is reported to be associated with low perioperative stroke and restenosis rates but an increased risk of complications associated with a distal intimal flap.


The objective of this review was to determine whether eversion CEA was safe and more effective than conventional CEA. The null-hypothesis was that there was no difference between the eversion and the conventional CEA techniques (performed either with primary closure or patch angioplasty).


The reviewers searched MEDLINE and the Cochrane Stroke Group Trials Register (last searched: December 1999), and hand searched eight surgical journals and conference proceedings. Researchers were contacted to identify additional published and unpublished studies.


All randomised trials comparing eversion to conventional techniques in patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy were examined in this review. Outcomes were stroke and death, carotid restenosis/occlusion and local complications.


Data were extracted independently by two reviewers to assess eligibility and describe trial characteristics, and by one reviewer for the meta-analyses. Discrepancies were resolved by discussion. When possible, unpublished data were obtained from investigators.


Five trials were included for a total of 2465 patients and 2590 arteries. Three trials included bilateral carotid endarterectomies. In one trial, arteries rather than patients were randomised so that it was not clear how many patients had been randomised in each group, therefore, information on the risk of stroke and death from this study were considered in a separate analysis. There were no significant differences in the rate of perioperative stroke and/or death (1.7% vs 2.6%, odds ratio [OR] 0.44, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.10-1.82) and stroke during follow-up (1.4% vs 1.7%, OR: 0.84, 95% CI: 0.43-1.64) between eversion and conventional CEA techniques. Eversion CEA was associated with a significantly lower rate of restenosis >50% during follow-up (2.5% vs 5.2%, OR: 0.48, 95% CI: 0.32 -0.72). However, there was no evidence that the eversion technique for CEA was associated with a lower rate of neurological events when compared to conventional CEA. There were no statistically significant differences in local complications between the eversion and conventional group. No data were available to define the cost-benefit of eversion CEA technique.


Eversion CEA may be associated with low risk of arterial occlusion and restenosis. However, numbers are too small to definitively assess benefits or harms. Reduced restenosis rates did not appear to be associated with clinical benefit in terms of reduced stroke risk, either perioperatively or later. Until further evidence is available, the choice of the CEA technique should depend on the experience and familiarity of the individual surgeon.

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