Continuity in the treatment of carotid artery disease: results of a carotid stenting program initiated by vascular surgeons.
The treatment of carotid artery stenosis currently constitutes a major component of vascular surgical practice. Carotid angioplasty and stenting (CAS), however, is mainly performed by nonvascular surgeon interventionalists with cerebral protection devices available only through investigational protocols. This study reports the initial results of a CAS program initiated and performed by vascular surgeons using commercially available cerebral protection devices. Fifty-seven patients were enrolled in the study over a 14-month period. All patients were at high risk for conventional endarterectomy (7 resentosis, 4 irradiation, and 46 medically high-risk ASA III). Mean age was 75.7 years (range, 45-93 years). High-grade stenosis of the carotid artery was present in all cases (mean stenosis, 85%; range, 80-99%). Twenty-four percent of patients were symptomatic. Cerebral protection was performed with an occlusion balloon-wire in 32 cases and with a filter-wire device in 24; no cerebral protection was used in 1 patient with restenosis after endarterectomy. Initially in the study, atropine was administered selectively for the development of bradycardia. Currently atropine is administered routinely prior to the initial balloon angioplasty of the carotid bulb. Clopidogrel (75 mg/day) was administered for 5 days prior to CAS and for 30 days after CAS. All 57 patients underwent successful dilatation of their carotid stenoses without occlusion or dissection. Ten of 32 patients in whom balloon occlusion was used for cerebral protection exhibited transient evidence of cerebral ischemia during protection balloon occlusion. These symptoms resolved completely without permanent neurological deficit in all cases. Development of bradycardia with a heart rate <50 bpm was significantly reduced by routine administration of atropine prior to the initial dilatation within the carotid bulb (p = 0.01). Mean hospital length of stay was 1.33 days (range, 1-5 days). There were two periprocedure myocardial infarctions, two postprocedure transient ischemic attacks, and one reversible ischemic neurologic deficit. There was no 30-day mortality. There have been no instances of hemodynamically significant restenosis during a mean follow-up period of 5.4 months. From these results we have concluded that CAS can be performed effectively and safely using commercially available cerebral protection devices. A program initiated and performed exclusively by vascular surgeons is effective and should be the standard model used in the endovascular treatment of carotid artery stenosis.
Faries, PL; Dayal, R; Clair, DG; Bernheim, J; Morrissey, N; Trociola, S; Hollenbeck, S; Mousa, A; Mahanor, E; Nowygrod, R; Bush, H; McKinsey, J; Kent, KC
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