Carotid artery stenting vs. carotid endarterectomy in the management of carotid artery stenosis: Lessons learned from randomized controlled trials
Salem, M.M.; Alturki, A.Y.; Fusco, M.R.; Thomas, A.J.; Carter, B.S.; Chen, C.C.; Kasper, E.M.
Surgical Neurology International 9: 85
ISSN/ISBN: 2229-5097 PMID: 29740506 Accession: 053240151
Carotid artery stenosis, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, has been well studied with several multicenter randomized trials. The superiority of carotid endarterectomy (CEA) to medical therapy alone in both symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis has been well established in previous trials in the 1990s. The consequent era of endovascular carotid artery stenting (CAS) has offered another option for treating carotid artery stenosis. A series of randomized trials have now been conducted to compare CEA and CAS in the treatment of carotid artery disease. The large number of similar trials has created some confusion due to inconsistent results. Here, the authors review the trials that compare CEA and CAS in the management of carotid artery stenosis. The PubMed database was searched systematically for randomized controlled trials published in English that compared CEA and CAS. Only human studies on adult patients were assessed. The references of identified articles were reviewed for additional manuscripts to be included if inclusion criteria were met. The following terms were used during search: carotid stenosis, endarterectomy, stenting. Retrospective or single-center studies were excluded from the review. Thirteen reports of seven large-scale prospective multicenter studies, comparing both interventions for symptomatic or asymptomatic extracranial carotid artery stenosis, were identified. While the superiority of intervention to medical management for symptomatic patients has been well established in the literatures, careful selection of asymptomatic patients for intervention should be undertaken and only be pursued after institution of appropriate medical therapy until further reports on trials comparing medical therapy to intervention in this patient group are available.