Does contralateral internal carotid artery occlusion increase the risk of carotid endarterectomy?

Bruce A. Perler, James F. Burdick, G. Melville Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


The results of every carotid endarterectomy performed contralateral to an internal carotid artery occlusion (n = 36) (group I) were compared with those performed contralateral to a patent internal carotid artery (n = 169) (group II) over the last 10 years. The patients in each group were evenly matched with respect to male gender (66% vs 69%); mean age (66.7 vs 65.9 years); and incidence of hypertension (55.6% vs 53.2%), diabetes (16.7% vs 20.1%), and hyperlipidemia (8.3% vs 11.8%). Patients in group I had a higher incidence of previous myocardial infarction (25% vs 11.8%, p < 0.05) and exertional angina (55.6% vs 29.6%, p < 0.01). Indications for carotid endarterectomy were equivalent, including stroke (19.4% vs 21.9%), transient ischemic attacks (36.1% vs 35.5%), amaurosis fugax (16.7% vs 11.8%), nonhemispheric symptoms (5.6% vs 8.3%), and asymptomatic stenoses (22.2% vs 22.5%), respectively. Perioperative strokes occurred in one (2.8%) patient in group I and seven (4.1%) patients in group II (NS). Among the patients in group II the incidence of perioperative stroke did not correlate directly with the degree of contralateral ICA stenosis: greater than 90% (4%); 70% to 90% (6.7%); 50% to 70% (8.7%); and less than 50% (2.8%). The operative mortality rate was 0% among patients in group I and 1.2% among patients in group II (NS). Cardiac complications occurred in two (5.6%) patients in group I and nine (5.3%) patients in group II (NS). These findings suggest that the risk of perioperative stroke is not related to the status of the contralateral internal carotid artery and specifically is not increased in the setting of a total internal carotid artery occlusion. Although patients with an internal carotid artery occlusion have a greater prevalence of symptomatic coronary artery disease, they can undergo carotid endarterectomy without increased risk of cardiac complications or operative death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-353
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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