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J Vasc Surg. 2014 Aug;60(2):418-27. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2014.01.069. Epub 2014 Mar 20.

Closure technique after carotid endarterectomy influences local hemodynamics.

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The Regional Vascular Unit, Liverpool Royal Hospital, Liverpool, United Kingdom. Electronic address:
Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom.
School of Engineering, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom.
The Regional Vascular Unit, Liverpool Royal Hospital, Liverpool, United Kingdom.



Meta-analysis supports patch angioplasty after carotid endarterectomy (CEA); however, studies indicate considerable variation in practice. The hemodynamic effect of a patch is unclear and this study attempted to elucidate this and guide patch width selection.


Four groups were selected: healthy volunteers and patients undergoing CEA with primary closure, trimmed patch (5 mm), or 8-mm patch angioplasty. Computer-generated three-dimensional models of carotid bifurcations were produced from transverse ultrasound images recorded at 1-mm intervals. Rapid prototyping generated models for flow visualization studies. Computational fluid dynamic studies were performed for each model and validated by flow visualization. Mean wall shear stress (WSS) and oscillatory shear index (OSI) maps were created for each model using pulsatile inflow at 300 mL/min. WSS of <0.4 Pa and OSI >0.3 were considered pathological, predisposing to accretion of intimal hyperplasia. The resultant WSS and OSI maps were compared.


The four groups comprised 8 normal carotid arteries, 6 primary closures, 6 trimmed patches, and seven 8-mm patches. Flow visualization identified flow separation and recirculation at the bifurcation increased with a patch and was related to the patch width. Computational fluid dynamic identified that primary closure had the fewest areas of low WSS or elevated OSI but did have mild common carotid artery stenoses at the proximal arteriotomy that caused turbulence. Trimmed patches had more regions of abnormal WSS and OSI at the bifurcation, but 8-mm patches had the largest areas of deleteriously low WSS and high OSI. Qualitative comparison among the four groups confirmed that incorporation of a patch increased areas of low WSS and high OSI at the bifurcation and that this was related to patch width.


Closure technique after CEA influences the hemodynamic profile. Patching does not appear to generate favorable flow dynamics. However, a trimmed 5-mm patch may offer hemodynamic benefits over an 8-mm patch and may be the preferred option.

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