Section 57
Chapter 56,785

Urgent carotid endarterectomy in patients with recent/crescendo transient ischaemic attacks or acute stroke

Dorigo, W.; Pulli, R.; Nesi, M.; Alessi Innocenti, A.; Pratesi, G.; Inzitari, D.; Pratesi, C.

European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery the Official Journal of the European Society for Vascular Surgery 41(3): 351-357


ISSN/ISBN: 1532-2165
PMID: 21196126
DOI: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2010.11.026
Accession: 056784357

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Objective of this study was to review the results of urgent carotid endarterectomy (CEA) performed in patients with recent (< 24 h) or crescendo (at least 2 episodes in 24 h) transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or with acute stroke in a single centre experience. From January 2000 to December 2008, 75 patients underwent urgent CEA for severe internal carotid artery stenosis and recent/crescendo TIA (51 patients, TIA group) or acute stroke (24 patients, stroke group). In patients with acute stroke the intervention was proposed on the basis of clinical and instrumental features (patient conscious, patency of middle cerebral artery, no lesions or limited brain infarction at CT scan) according to neurologists' suggestion. Data from all the interventions were prospectively collected in a dedicated database, which included main pre-, intra- and postoperative parameters. Independent neurological assessment with National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score calculation was performed before the operation and within the 30th postoperative day. Early (< 30 days) results were evaluated in terms of mortality, modifications in NIHSS values and stroke and death rates. The surveillance program consisted of clinical and ultrasonographic examinations at 1, 6 and 12 months and yearly thereafter. Follow-up results (survival, occurrence of ipsilateral stroke in TIA group, recurrence of stroke in stroke group) were analysed by Kaplan-Meier curves. Among patients presenting with TIA, 28 had crescendo TIAs and 23 had a recent TIA; In stroke group, two patients had a stroke in evolution, eight patients had a recent major non-disabling stroke and 14 patients had a recent minor stroke. Preoperative mean value of NIHSS score in stroke group was 4.7 (SD 3.2). There were 2 perioperative (< 30 days) deaths, both in stroke group, in one case due to acute respiratory failure and to fatal stroke in the other one (preoperative NIHSS value 9, postoperative 17), with a cumulative 30-day mortality rate of 2.7%, significantly higher in stroke group (8.3%) than in TIA group (no death, p = 0.03). No postoperative cerebral haemorrhage occurred. In TIA group one postoperative major stroke occurred, with a 30-day stroke and death rate of 1.9%. In surviving patients of stroke group NIHSS value improved in 13 cases, with a mean improvement of 2 points (SD 0.9); in 8 cases the value remained unchanged, while in the remaining case it increased from 2 to 4. Mean postoperative NIHSS score in stroke group was 3.9 (SD 3.7), significantly reduced in comparison with preoperative value (p < 0.001). Mean duration of follow-up was 34 months (SD 28.1). No ipsilateral stroke in patients of TIA group occurred; in stroke group a recurrent fatal stroke at 1 postoperative month was recorded. Estimated 48-month stroke-free survival rate TIA group was 95% and 79% in stroke group (p = 0.02). Urgent CEA in patients with recent/crescendo TIA provided in our experience excellent results, with low rates of perioperative and late stroke. In selected patients with acute stroke early surgery seems to provide acceptable results.

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