Stroke remains the leading cause of disability in adults and the third leading cause of death in the US. Carotid artery (CA) occlusive disease is the primary pathophysiological source of 10 to 20% of all strokes. Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke in patients with both symptomatic and asymptomatic extracranial CA stenosis. Carotid artery angioplasty and stent placement has recently emerged as an alternative to CEA for primary and secondary prevention of stroke related to CA stenosis. With the advent of the embolic protection device, the safety of CA angioplasty and stent placement has approached, if not surpassed, that of CEA. In particular, the former has come to be considered as a first-line therapy in the management of CA stenotic disease in individuals at high risk for complications related to surgical intervention. Preliminary data from multiple registries have demonstrated that CA angioplasty and stent placement is an effective means of treating CA stenosis. The results of the Stenting and Angioplasty with Protection in Patients at High Risk for Endarterectomy trial have demonstrated that this modality has a significant role in the management of CA disease in symptomatic and asymptomatic patients with risk factors for high rates of surgery-related morbidity or mortality. With the completion of the Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy versus Stent Trial, the role of CA angioplasty and stent placement in the prevention of stroke in all individuals with significant CA stenosis should be better demarcated. This treatment modality promises to assume a central role in stroke prophylaxis in patients with CA disease who are at high risk for complications related to surgery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology