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Vascular. 2006 Sep-Oct;14(5):245-55.

Transcervical carotid stenting with flow reversal for neuroprotection: technique, results, advantages, and limitations.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-3280, USA.


Carotid angioplasty and stenting are progressively earning a role as a less invasive alternative in the treatment of carotid occlusive disease. The most common approach for carotid artery stenting involves transfemoral access and use of a filter or balloon device for neuroprotection. This approach has limitations related to both the site of access and the method of neuroprotection. Specifically, an aortoiliac segment with advanced occlusive or aneurysmal disease or an anatomically unfavorable or atheromatous arch and arch branches can significantly limit the safety of the retrograde transfemoral pathway to the carotid bifurcation. Additionally, data provided by the use of transcranial Doppler monitoring and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging in patients undergoing filter- or balloon-protected carotid artery stenting demonstrate that currently available devices are associated with a considerable incidence of cerebral embolization. To address these limitations, we, along with others, have employed a direct transcervical approach for carotid artery stenting that incorporates the principle of flow reversal for neuroprotection. The technique bypasses all of the anatomic limitations of transfemoral access and simplifies the application of flow reversal, which is one of the safest neuroprotection techniques. The purpose of this review is to describe our method of transcervical carotid artery stenting, review the accumulating outcomes data, and discuss the clinical advantages of and indications for this increasingly popular technique.

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