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J Vasc Surg. 2013 Jun;57(6):1568-75, 1575.e1-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2012.11.072. Epub 2013 Feb 4.

In-hospital versus postdischarge adverse events following carotid endarterectomy.

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  • 1Department of Vascular Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Mass 02215, USA.



Most studies based on state and nationwide registries evaluating perioperative outcome after carotid endarterectomy (CEA) rely on hospital discharge data only. Therefore, the true 30-day complication risk after carotid revascularization may be underestimated.


We used the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database 2005-2010 to assess the in-hospital and postdischarge rate of any stroke, death, cardiac event (new Q-wave myocardial infarction or cardiac arrest), and combined stroke/death and combined adverse outcome (S/D/CE) at 30 days following CEA. Multivariable analyses were used to identify predictors for in-hospital and postdischarge events separately, and in particular, those that predict postdischarge events distinctly.


A total of 35,916 patients who underwent CEA during 2005-2010 were identified in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database; 59% were male, median age was 72 years, and 44% had a previous neurologic event. Thirty-day stroke rate was 1.6% (n = 591), death rate was 0.8% (n = 272), cardiac event rate was 1.0% (n = 350), stroke or death rate was 2.2% (n = 794), and combined S/D/CE rate was 2.9% (n = 1043); 33% of strokes, 53% of deaths, 32% of cardiac events, 40% of combined stroke/death, and 38% of combined S/D/CE took place after hospital discharge. Patients with a prior stroke or transient ischemic attack had similar proportions of postdischarge events compared with patients without prior symptoms. Independent predictors for postdischarge events, but not for in-hospital events were female sex (stroke [odds ratio (OR), 1.6; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.2-2.1] and stroke/death [OR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.1-1.7]), renal failure (stroke [OR, 3.0; 95% CI, 1.4-6.2]) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (death [OR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.6-3.7], stroke/death [OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.4-2.4], and S/D/CE [OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.4-2.3]).


With 38% of perioperative adverse events after CEA happening posthospitalization, regardless of symptoms status, we need to be alert to the ongoing risks after discharge particularly in women, patients with renal failure, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This emphasizes the need for reporting and comparing 30-day adverse event rates when evaluating outcomes for CEA, or comparing carotid stenting to CEA.

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