Transcervical carotid stenting with flow reversal protection: Experience in high-risk patients

Manel Matas, Beatriz Alvarez, Marc Ribo, Carlos Molina, Jordi Maeso, Jose Alvarez-Sabin

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32 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Carotid angioplasty and stenting (CAS) with cerebral embolic protection is a safe alternative to carotid endarterectomy in high-risk patients. Among the various systems proposed for cerebral protection, transcervical CAS avoids crossing the lesion without protection and eliminates the complications associated with transfemoral access. This study analyzes our experience and the results obtained with a transcervical stenting technique for carotid revascularization. Methods: From January 2005 to June 2006, 62 CAS were performed in our center in high-risk patients with >70% stenosis (38.7% had a previous neurologic event and 61.3% were asymptomatic). The indications for CAS were severe heart disease (45.1%), severe pulmonary disease (6.4%), paralysis of the contralateral laryngeal nerve (6.4%), recurrent stenosis (3.2%), and high carotid lesion (1.6%). Twenty-one patients were >80 years old. A complete neurologic examination was performed by a stroke neurologist in all patients before and after stenting. The protection system used was carotid flow reversal by transcervical access. Transcranial Doppler monitoring was done during the procedure in 35 patients. We analyzed technical success, the presence of high-intensity transient signals during the procedure, neurologic morbidity and mortality at 30 days and 6 months, and stent patency at 6 months (range, 1 to 18 months). Technical success was 96.8%. Perioperative high-intensity transient signals were observed in two patients (5.7%). In the immediate postoperative period, one patient had a transient ischemic attack of the anterior cerebral artery and another had a stroke, with contralateral hemiplegia. At 48 hours after discharge, a third patient returned to the hospital with a severe cerebral hemorrhage that required surgical drainage; hence, neurologic morbidity was 4.9%. There were no deaths at 6 months. Among the total, 98.4% of the stents remained patent, two showed restenosis of 50% to 70%, and one restenosis of >70%. No patients presented a neurologic event during the follow-up. Conclusions: Transcervical carotid artery stenting with flow reversal cerebral protection is a relatively simple, safe technique that avoids instrumentation of the aortic arch and crossing the target lesion without protection. It is less expensive than techniques requiring a filter device and provides excellent outcome with an acceptable incidence of complications. © 2007 The Society for Vascular Surgery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-54
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2007

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