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PLoS One. 2017 Jul 14;12(7):e0180804. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0180804. eCollection 2017.

Long-term efficacy and safety of carotid artery stenting versus endarterectomy: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

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Department of Cardiology, Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital, Nanjing University School of Medicine, Nanjing China.
Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, Clinical College of Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjng, China.



Many recent trials have investigated the long-term efficacy and safety of endarterectomy versus stenting in treating patients with carotid artery stenosis. We aimed to determine the long-term comparative efficacy and safety of both procedures by pooling this evidence in a meta-analysis.


We searched PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials for studies published until May 6, 2016. Randomized controlled trials, which reported outcomes of interest with a median follow-up of at least 4-year, were included.


Eight trials involving 7005 patients and 41824 patient-years of follow-up were included. In terms of the periprocedural outcomes, stenting was associated with a lower risk of myocardial infarction (OR: 0.51; 95% CI: 0.33 to 0.80; P = 0.003) but a higher risk of death or stroke (the composite endpoint, OR: 1.76; 95% CI: 1.38 to 2.25; P < 0.0001), a result that was primarily driven by minor stroke (OR: 2.19; 95% CI: 1.59 to 3.01; P < 0.0001), less so by periprocedural death (OR: 1.68; 95% CI: 0.82 to 3.44; P = 0.16) and major stroke (OR: 1.41; 95% CI: 0.95 to 2.09; P = 0.09). In terms of the long-term outcomes, stenting was associated with a higher risk of stroke (OR 1.45; 95% CI: 1.22 to 1.73; P < 0.0001) and the composite outcome of death or stroke (OR 1.25; 95% CI: 1.05 to 1.48; P = 0.01). No difference was found in long-term all-cause mortality between stenting and endarterectomy (OR: 1.09; 95% CI: 0.95 to 1.26; P = 0.21) and restenosis (OR: 1.48 (95% CI: 0.93 to 2.35; P = 0.10). No evidence of significant heterogeneity was found in any of the analyses.


Carotid endarterectomy was found to be superior to stenting for short- and long-term outcomes, although endarterectomy was associated with a higher risk of periprocedural myocardial infarction. Carotid endarterectomy should be offered as the first choice for carotid stenosis at present, however, more evidence is needed because rapid progress in concurrent devices and medical treatments is being made.

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