Intracerebral hemorrhage after carotid endarterectomy: incidence, contribution to neurologic morbidity, and predictive factors.
PURPOSE: With a diminishing rate of cardiac and neurologic events after carotid endarterectomy, intracerebral hemorrhage is gaining increasing importance as a cause of perioperative morbidity and mortality. To date, information has been largely anecdotal, and there has been no comparison with a control group of patients. METHODS: The records of all patients experiencing symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage after carotid endarterectomy were reviewed and compared with data from 50 randomly selected patients who did not experience intracranial bleeding. Univariate analyses were performed, using the Fisher exact test for dichotomous data and the Student t test for continuous data. RESULTS: During a 6-year period, symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage developed in 11 (0.75%) of 1471 patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy, accounting for 35% of the 31 total perioperative neurologic events. Hemorrhage occurred a median of 3 days postoperatively (range, 0 to 18 days). Signs and symptoms included hypertension in all 11 patients, headache in 7 conscious patients (64%), and bradycardia in 6 patients (55%). Massive hemorrhage with herniation and death occurred in 4 patients (36%). Moderate hemorrhage developed in 5 patients (45%); 3 of these patients had partial recovery, and 2 had complete recovery. Petechial hemorrhage occurred in the remaining 2 patients (18%), 1 with partial and 1 with complete recovery. In comparison with the control group, there were no differences in respect to sex, indication for operation, smoking or diabetic history, and antiplatelet therapy or perioperative heparin management. Patients with intracranial hemorrhage were, however, younger, more frequently hypertensive, had a higher degree of ipsilateral and contralateral carotid stenosis, and had a higher rate of contralateral carotid occlusion. CONCLUSION: Intracranial hemorrhage occurs with notable frequency after carotid endarterectomy and accounts for a significant proportion of neurologic morbidity and mortality. Younger patients, hypertensive patients, and patients with severe cerebrovascular occlusive disease appear to be at greatest risk for the complication.
Ouriel, K; Shortell, CK; Illig, KA; Greenberg, RK; Green, RM
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