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Circulation. 1998 Apr 7;97(13):1239-45.

Predictors of stroke complicating carotid artery stenting.

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Department of Medicine, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA.



The evolving technique of carotid stenting is being evaluated as an alternative to endarterectomy. Identification of the factors that predispose a patient to neurological complications would facilitate further refinement of the technique and optimize patient selection.


We analyzed the impact of various clinical, morphological, and procedural determinants on the development of procedural strokes in 231 patients who underwent elective (primary) stenting of 271 extracranial carotid arteries. The mean age of the patients was 68.7+/-10 years, 165 (71%) were males, and 139 (60%) had symptoms attributed to the lesion treated. This series represented a high-risk subset with 164 patients (71%) having significant coronary artery disease, 91 (39%) having bilateral disease, and 28 (12%) having contralateral carotid occlusion. Of the treated vessels, 59 (22%) had prior carotid endarterectomy, 66 (24%) had ulcerated plaques, and 87 (32%) had calcified lesions. Only 37 treated vessels (14%) would have been eligible for inclusion in the North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial (NASCET). There were 17 (6.2%) minor and 2 (0.7%) major strokes during and within 30 days of the procedure. NASCET-eligible patients had a low (2.7%) risk of procedural strokes after carotid stenting. The results of multivariate analysis revealed advanced age (P=.006) and presence of long or multiple stenoses (P=.006) as independent predictors of procedural strokes.


During this procedural developmental phase of carotid stenting, neurological complications were highly dependent on patient selection. Advanced age and long or multiple stenoses were independent predictors of procedural stroke.

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