Urgent Best Medical Therapy May Obviate the Need for Urgent Surgery in Patients With Symptomatic Carotid Stenosis
Background and Purpose—The purpose of this study was to analyze the 30-day outcome after introduction of a rapid carotid endarterectomy (CEA) program. Reasons for delay in CEA and the incidence of early recurrence neurological symptoms were recorded.
Methods—This is a prospective population-based study of delays to CEA and 30-day outcome in patients with symptomatic carotid stenosis. Neurological recurrence (NR) rate was determined after initiation of urgent best medical treatment (loading dose aspirin/clopidogrel and duel therapy with aspirin plus clopidogrel with a statin) until CEA and compared with NR ≤90 days prior index event.
Results—Of a total of 4905 (transient ischemic attack/ischemic stroke, and ocular events) patients, 115 symptomatic patients underwent CEA, 42% within 14 days of the index event and 99% within 14 days of surgical referral. The overall NR from index event to CEA in symptomatic carotid stenosis patients was significantly lower (2.5% [95% confidence interval, 1%–6%]) after best medical treatment when compared with NR ≤90 days in those before referral to a stroke clinic (29% [95% confidence interval, 22%–37%]; P<0.00001). There were no significant differences in outcomes among 48 early (<14 days), 46 intermediate (14–30 days), and 21 delayed (>30 days) CEAs.
Conclusions—CEA can be performed in the subacute period without significantly increasing the operative risk. The urgent best medical treatment was associated with significant reduction in the risk of early NR in CEA patients. It seems that urgent aggressive best medical treatment may obviate the need for urgent CEA.
- Received January 13, 2013.
- Revision received April 25, 2013.
- Accepted May 2, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.