Transcervical carotid stenting with flow reversal is a safe technique for high-risk patients older than 70 years

Beatriz Alvarez, Manuel Matas, Marc Ribo, Jordi Maeso, Xavier Yugueros, Jose Alvarez-Sabin

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Recent evidence regarding carotid revascularization advises against carotid angioplasty and stenting (CAS) in patients aged >70 years with conventional risk for carotid endarterectomy (CEA). The poor outcome of transfemoral CAS in this age group may be explained by the anatomic characteristics of the aortic trunk and supra-aortic vessels in elderly patients, as well as by a high prevalence of aortic arch atheromatosis. Transcervical CAS with flow reversal for cerebral protection avoids these unfavorable characteristics. This study analyzed the short-term and middle-term results of transcervical CAS with flow reversal in patients aged >70 years at high risk for CEA. Methods: Between January 2006 and January 2011, 219 cases of >70% carotid artery stenosis in high-risk patients aged >70 years (55.7% asymptomatic and 44.3% symptomatic) were treated by transcervical CAS. All patients underwent complete neurologic examination by a stroke neurologist before and after the procedure. Primary end points were stroke, death, or myocardial infarction (MI), technical success, and complications at 30 days. During follow-up, we analyzed the rate of restenosis ≥50% and ipsilateral stroke. Data were collected prospectively and outcome was analyzed in all cases, including technical failures. Results: The 30-day combined stroke/death/MI rate was 2.2% (stroke, 1.8%; stroke/death, 2.2%; and MI, 0.45%). In symptomatic patients, stroke/death/MI was 5.1% (stroke, 4.1%; stroke/death, 5.1%). None of the asymptomatic patients suffered stroke, MI, or death postoperatively. Technical success was 96.3% (four inability to cross lesion, two major common carotid dissections, one failed preangioplasty, one stent thrombosis). One cervical hematoma required surgical drainage. At follow-up (18.8 ± 16.9 months), cumulative (standard error) incidence of >70% restenosis was 3% (1%) at 1 year and 8% (3%) at 2 and 3 years. Only one patient experienced ipsilateral stroke during follow-up. Overall survival (standard error) was 94% (2%) at 1 year and 90% (3%) at 2 and 3 years. Conclusions: In our experience, transcervical CAS with flow reversal is a safe technique for treating carotid stenosis in patients aged >70 years. We believe that avoiding the aortic arch and tortuous supra-aortic vessels is responsible for the favorable results in this study. © 2012 Society for Vascular Surgery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)978-984
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012


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