Carotid Artery Stenting Versus Carotid Endarterectomy
A Comprehensive Meta-Analysis of Short-Term and Long-Term Outcomes
Background and Purpose—The comparison between carotid endarterectomy and carotid artery stenting (CAS) remains a debated field, especially in the context of long-term outcomes.
Methods—Concerning the short-term (30-day) analysis, the numbers of outcomes per arm were abstracted, whereas outcomes per arm and hazard ratios were abstracted for long-term (≥1-year) results.
Results—Thirteen randomized trials (3723 carotid endarterectomy and 3754 CAS patients) were eligible. Regarding short-term outcomes, CAS was associated with elevated risk for stroke and “death or stroke.” CAS also exhibited a marginal trend toward higher death and “death or disabling stroke” rates. Carotid endarterectomy presented with higher rates of myocardial infarction and cranial nerve injury. Concerning long-term outcomes, CAS was associated with higher rates of stroke (pooled OR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.13 to 1.65) and “death or stroke” (pooled OR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.06 to 1.48). These findings were replicated at the level of pooled hazard ratios and marginally regarding secondary preventive efficacy. The difference in long-term stroke rates was particularly sizeable in patients >68 years, but little difference in rates was observed in those <68 years. No statistically significant heterogeneity became evident. Metaregression did not reveal any significant modifying effect mediated by symptomatic/asymptomatic status, distal protection, early termination of trials, area of study origin, or CAS learning curve.
Conclusions—This meta-analysis points to the significantly less frequent stroke events after carotid endarterectomy at the long-term context. The outcomes of carotid endarterectomy seem superior to CAS, but there may be subgroups, particularly younger patients, in whom the results seem equivalent.
- Received October 17, 2010.
- Accepted October 22, 2010.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.