Carotid Artery Stenting 2013: Thumbs up

Philipp Wagdi

Abstract


    It has been customary for interventional cardiologists involved in carotid artery stenting, to underline non-inferiority of the percutaneous technique versus surgical carotid endarterectomy. To that end, all cause morbidity and mortality figures of both methods are compared. Surgery has, in most large randomized studies, had an edge over stenting in terms of cerebrovascular adverse events. This may have partly been due to occasional indiscriminate indication for stenting in lesions and/or vessels with unfavourable characteristics (severe target vessel tortuosity and calcification, Type III aortic arch, and so on). On one hand, the author pleads for improvement of the excellent results of endarterectomy, by subjecting all patients planned for surgery to a thorough preoperative cardiological work up, including generous invasive investigation, thus reducing the incidence of perioperative myocardial infarction, heart failure and cardiac death. On the other hand, we are convinced that the results of carotid stenting should then be compared to best practice surgery. The rate of neurological adverse event rate after carotid endarterectomy at our institution lies under 0.7% at 30 days postoperatively. Specifically, the goal should be that carotid stenting underbids surgical endarterectomy, also and mainly, in terms of cerebral and cerebrovascular adverse events. Cardiac morbidity and mortality as well as laryngeal nerve palsy should no more be the main arguments for the percutaneous approach. This should easily be possible if patient selection for carotid revascularisation would be approached according to morphological criteria, in analogy with the “Syntax”-score used to optimise revascularisation strategies in coronary artery disease.




doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4021/cr253w

Keywords


Carotid artery stenting; Carotid endarterectomy; Stroke; Carotid artery stenosis

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