Recent studies have shown that carotid artery angioplasty and stenting may offer a viable alternative for symptomatic and asymptomatic patients with carotid artery stenosis, especially in high-risk patients. We report the results of a prospective single-center registry designed to evaluate the feasibility and safety of carotid artery angioplasty and stenting with and without distal protection devices in high-risk patients. A total of 116 consecutive patients underwent 126 procedures and 127 stents were deployed successfully in 130 lesions. The majority of patients (63%) had restenosis after a prior carotid endarterectomy; 31% were considered to be ineligible for carotid endarterectomy by both the vascular surgeons and the interventional cardiologist and 9% were considered ineligible for surgery due to hostile neck anatomy. Periprocedural and follow-up evaluation included a thorough independent clinical and neurological assessment. Distal embolic protection devices were used in 44% of all cases. Procedural success was achieved in 122 procedures (97%). The overall rate of in-hospital major adverse cerebrovascular events (death, stroke, and myocardial infarction) was 2.6%. Event rates in patients with prior carotid endarterectomy were comparable to patients with de novo lesions with 5.2% vs. 2.4% death/stroke at 30 days and 8.3% and 6.6% stroke/death rates at 1 year, respectively. When distal protection devices were used, death/stroke rates were 0% as compared to 4.5% when distal protection was not used (P = NS). However, minor embolic phenomena were observed in both primary and secondary lesions independent of the use of distal protection. These results support the use of carotid artery angioplasty and stenting in high-risk patients with significant primary or secondary carotid artery stenosis. In both types of lesions, acceptable results justify its use as a valid revascularization method. While clinical embolic events occur in a minority of patients in both lesion types, they are not entirely prevented by distal protection.
- Carotid artery
- Cerebrovascular accident
- Filter device
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging