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J Endovasc Ther. 2009 Aug;16(4):412-27. doi: 10.1583/09-2713.1.

Cerebral protection devices reduce periprocedural strokes during carotid angioplasty and stenting: a systematic review of the current literature.

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  • 1Creighton University Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, USA.



To compare through a systematic review of published literature the stroke outcomes in protected and unprotected carotid artery stenting (CAS).


PubMed and Cochrane electronic databases were queried to identify peer-reviewed publications from 1995 to 2007 meeting our pre-defined criteria for inclusion (English language, human only, at least 20 patients reported) and exclusion (procedures performed for the treatment of total occlusion, dissection, or aneurysmal disease; urgently performed procedures; use of covered stents; access other than transfemoral). Information was collected on a standardized data abstraction form for pooled analysis of total strokes within 30 days of procedure in all patients and in symptomatic and asymptomatic subgroups. A random effects meta-analysis of studies with concurrently reported data on protected and unprotected CAS was performed.


Initial database query resulted in 2485 articles, of which 134 were included in the final analyses (12,263 protected CAS patients and 11,198 unprotected CAS patients). Twenty-four studies included data on both protected and unprotected CAS. Using pooled analysis of all 134 reports, the relative risk (RR) for stroke was 0.62 (95% CI 0.54 to 0.72) in favor of protected CAS. Subgroup analysis revealed a significant benefit for protected CAS in both symptomatic (RR 0.67; 95% CI 0.52 to 0.56) and asymptomatic (RR 0.61; 95% CI 0.41 to 0.90) patients (p<0.05). Meta-analysis of the 24 studies reporting data on both protected and unprotected stenting demonstrated a relative risk of 0.59 (95% CI 0.47 to 0.73) for stroke, again favoring protected CAS (p<0.001).


Our systematic review indicated that the use of cerebral protection devices decreased the risk of perioperative stroke with CAS. A well designed randomized trial can further confirm our findings and possibly indicate the device with the best outcomes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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