Abstract WMP106: Increased Carotid Stenting For Nonspecific Symptoms In The Post-crest Era
Background: Nonspecific symptoms such as dizziness and syncope may prompt evaluation of the carotid circulation and detection of carotid stenosis. The Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy Versus Stenting Trial (CREST) demonstrated equivalent outcomes from Endarterectomy (CEA) and Stenting (CAS) in asymptomatic stenosis. We reviewed the trends in selection and outcomes from revascularization procedures for nonspecific symptoms in the light of CREST results.
Methods: We performed a retrospective review of carotid revascularization procedures at a large volume urban medical center, between June 2009 (8 months pre-CREST) and April 2012. Demographics, surgical risk features and in-hospital outcomes of stroke/death/MI were reviewed. Patients were labeled as having nonspecific symptoms when they presented with posterior circulation symptoms or with non-focal symptoms i.e. Dizziness, syncope, etc. To evaluate the effect of CREST, we compared pre CREST (up to Jan 2010) and post CREST cases (Feb 2010 to Apr 2012).
Results: 701 procedures (36.1% CEA, 63.9% CAS) were performed and mean age was 70 ±10 years. Non-specific indications accounted for 13% of CEA and 15.9% of CAS. Procedures for nonspecific symptoms did not increase post CREST in the CEA group (12.1% VS 13.3%). They increased significantly in the CAS group (6.3% pre and 18.5% post CREST). Among CAS, the rise was insignificant in the first 8 months (Feb 2010-Sep 2010) post CREST: 7.5%. This rose to 21.2% from Oct 2010 to May 2011: p=0.0017; and 23.8% from June 2011 to April 2012: p=0.0004. The rise in CAS was noted among elderly patients (>70 years), a group in which CREST demonstrated higher complication rates. The rise was noted among both men and women and they did not have surgical high-risk criteria. In-hospital complication rates of stroke/death/MI were 5.6% in this group. Most complications occurred in patients >70 years.
Conclusion: CAS for nonspecific symptoms has increased following CREST, and the complication rates associated with these procedures is significant. This raises concern about the value of this procedure. Primary care physicians evaluating non-specific symptoms should obtain neurological expertise prior to revascularization procedures, to allow appropriate patient selection.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.