EEG surveillance as a means of extending operability in high risk carotid endarterectomy.
Some patients who have transient ischemic attacks are denied operation because severe occlusive lesions in other extra-cranial arteries may be inappropriately interpreted as constituting an unacceptable surgical risk, or because the lesion is so distal as to make its removal hazardous. Failure of endarterectomy is usually due to incomplete removal of the lesion or to thrombosis upon the frayed intima. Such lesions require excellent visualization and meticulous surgical technique -- not always possible with a shunt. Among 130 consecutive carotid endarterectomies performed under general anesthesia, EEG changes consistent with cerebral ischemia appeared in only nine (7%). These patients required a shunt. In 11 patients normal EEG tracings were obtained during endarterectomy despite contralateral carotid occlusion. None of these patients had a neurological deficit. Continuous EEG monitoring is a reliable method of detecting changes in cerebral perfusion, permits a more meticulous endarterectomy in high-lying lesions without a shunt, and extends operability in high risk patients. Angiographical findings may be an unreliable predictor concerning risk of endarterectomy.
- Copyright © 1976 by American Heart Association