A systematic review supporting the Society for Vascular Surgery Guidelines on the management of carotid artery disease

Bashar Hasan, Magdoleen Farah, Tarek Nayfeh, Mustapha Amin, Kostantinos Malandris, Rami Abd-Rabu, Sahrish Shah, Rami Rajjoub, Mohamed O. Seisa, Samer Saadi, Leslie Hassett, Larry J. Prokop, Ali F. AbuRahma, M. Hassan Murad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: To support the development of guidelines on the management of carotid disease, a writing committee from the Society for Vascular Surgery has commissioned this systematic review. Methods: We searched multiple data bases for studies addressing five questions: medical management vs carotid revascularization (CEA) in asymptomatic patients, CEA vs carotid artery stenting (CAS) in symptomatic low surgical risk patients, the optimal timing of revascularization after acute stroke, screening high-risk patients for carotid disease, and the optimal sequence of interventions in patients with combined coronary and carotid disease. Studies were selected and appraised by pairs of independent reviewers. Meta-analyses were performed when feasible. Results: Medical management compared with carotid interventions in asymptomatic patients was associated with better early outcome during the first 30 days. However, CEA was associated with significantly lower long-term rate of stroke/death at 5 years. In symptomatic low-risk surgical patients, CEA was associated with a lower risk of stroke, but a significant increase in myocardial infarction compared with CAS during the first 30 days. When the long-term outcome of transfemoral CAS vs CEA in symptomatic patients were examined using preplanned pooled analysis of individual patient data from four randomized trials, the risk of death or stroke within 120 days of the index procedure was 5.5% for CEA and 8.7% for CAS, which lends support that, over the long term, CEA has a superior outcome compared with transfemoral CAS. When managing acute stroke, the comparison of CEA during the first 48 hours to that between day 2 and day 14 did not reveal a statistically significant difference on outcomes during the first 30 days. Registry data show good results with CEA performed in the first week, but not within the first 48 hours. A single risk factor, aside from peripheral artery disease, was associated with low carotid screening yield. Multiple risk factors greatly increase the yield of screening. Evidence on the timing of interventions in patients with combined carotid and coronary disease was sparse and imprecise. Patients without carotid symptoms, who had the carotid intervention first, compared with a combined carotid intervention and coronary artery bypass grafting, had better outcomes. Conclusions: This updated evidence summary supports the Society for Vascular Surgery clinical practice guidelines for commonly raised clinical scenarios. CEA was superior to medical therapy in the long-term prevention of stroke/death over medical therapy. CEA was also superior to transfemoral CAS in minimizing long-term stroke/death for symptomatic low risk surgical patients. CEA should optimally be performed between 2 and 14 days from the onset of acute stroke. Having multiple risk factors increases the value of carotid screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99S-108S.e42
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Carotid artery disease
  • Carotid artery stenting
  • Carotid endarterectomy
  • Management
  • Meta-analysis
  • Screening
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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