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Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2009 Apr;37(4 Suppl):1-19. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2008.11.006.

ESVS guidelines. Invasive treatment for carotid stenosis: indications, techniques.

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Department of Vascular Surgery, Athens University Medical School, Attikon University Hospital, Athens, Greece.


The European Society for Vascular Surgery brought together a group of experts in the field of carotid artery disease to produce updated guidelines for the invasive treatment of carotid disease. The recommendations were rated according to the level of evidence. Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) is recommended in symptomatic patients with >50% stenosis if the perioperative stroke/death rate is <6% [A], preferably within 2 weeks of the patient's last symptoms [A]. CEA is also recommended in asymptomatic men <75 years old with 70-99% stenosis if the perioperative stroke/death risk is <3% [A]. The benefit from CEA in asymptomatic women is significantly less than in men [A]. CEA should therefore be considered only in younger, fit women [A]. Carotid patch angioplasty is preferable to primary closure [A]. Aspirin at a dose of 75-325 mg daily and statins should be given before, during and following CEA. [A] Carotid artery stenting (CAS) should be performed only in high-risk for CEA patients, in high-volume centres with documented low peri-operative stroke and death rates or inside a randomized controlled trial [C]. CAS should be performed under dual antiplatelet treatment with aspirin and clopidogrel [A]. Carotid protection devices are probably of benefit [C].

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