The cause of perioperative stroke after carotid endarterectomy

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the cause of perioperative stroke after carotid endarterectomy. Methods: The records of 2365 patients undergoing 3062 carotid endarterectomies from 1965 through 1991 were reviewed. Sixty-six (2.2%) operations were associated with a perioperative stroke. The mechanism of stroke was determined in 63 of 66 cases. Patient risk factors and surgeon-dependent factors were analyzed. Results: More than 20 different mechanisms of perioperative stroke were identified, but most could be grouped into broad categories of ischemia during carotid artery clamping (n = 10), postoperative thrombosis and embolism (n = 25), intracerebral hemorrhage (n = 12), strokes from other mechanisms associated with the surgery (n = 8), and stroke unrelated to the reconstructed artery(n = 8). Dividing the operative experience approximately into thirds, during the years 1965 to 1979, 1980 to 1985, and 1986 to 1991 the perioperative stroke rates were 2.7%, 2.2%, and 1.5%, respectively. This, in part, is associated with a better selection of patients (more symptom free, fewer with neurologic deficits). There has been a notable decrease in perioperative stroke caused by ischemia during clamping and intracerebral hemorrhage, but postoperative thrombosis and embolism remain the major cause of neurologic complications. Conclusions: Although patient selection seems to play a role, most perioperative strokes were due to technical errors made during carotid endarterectomy or reconstruction and were preventable. (J VASC SURG 1994;19:206-16.) © 1994, Society for Vascular Surgery and International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery, North American Chapter. All rights reserved.




Riles, T. S., Imparato, A. M., Jacobowitz, G. R., Lamparello, P. J., Giangola, G., Adelman, M. A., & Landis, R. (1994). The cause of perioperative stroke after carotid endarterectomy. Journal of Vascular Surgery, 19(2), 206–216.

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