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J Surg Res. 2013 Nov;185(1):21-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2013.07.027. Epub 2013 Aug 6.

Results of carotid angioplasty and stenting are equivalent for critical versus high-grade lesions in patients deemed high risk for carotid endarterectomy.

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Division of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy, Department of Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.



To examine outcomes of carotid angioplasty and stenting (CAS) in patients with critical carotid stenosis who are deemed high risk for carotid endarterectomy.


Medical records were retrospectively analyzed for patients undergoing CAS between September 2002 and March 2011 at a single institution. Patients were classified as having either critical (≥ 90%) or high-grade (70%-89%) carotid stenosis based on angiography. The primary composite end point was stroke, myocardial infarction, or death from any cause during the periprocedural period or any ipsilateral stroke during the follow-up period.


A total of 245 patients underwent 257 CAS procedures during the study period. Fifty-one percentage (n = 130) of cases involved critical stenosis (66.2% male; mean age, 71 ± 10 y), with the remaining group (n = 127) involving high-grade stenosis (67.7% male; mean age, 71 ± 9 y). Symptomatic carotid disease was present in 25% of the critical stenosis and 31% of the high-grade stenosis groups (P = 0.33). Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was more commonly found in the high-grade stenosis group (20% versus 8%, P = 0.01). No difference was observed between the groups relative to other baseline demographic characteristics, presence of contralateral carotid occlusion, stent diameter or length, maximum balloon diameter or length, use of embolic protection device, or procedural duration. Technical success was achieved in all cases. There was no difference in the need to predilate before the introduction of the filter or stent based on the degree of stenosis. We found no difference in the primary composite end point between the high-grade or critical stenosis groups (7.1% versus 7.7%, P = 0.74), or there were no differences between the individual components of the composite end point. Mid-term survival was similar between the two groups at a mean follow-up period of 2.4 y.


Despite concerns regarding the potential for increased neurologic complications, our data demonstrate that patients with high-grade and critical stenosis are able to safely undergo CAS and achieve similar periprocedural outcomes and mid-term prognosis.


Carotid angioplasty and stenting; Carotid stenosis; High risk; Stroke

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