Safety and efficacy of endovascular treatment of carotid artery stenosis compared with carotid endarterectomy: a Cochrane systematic review of the randomized evidence<BR>

  • Coward L
  • Featherstone R
  • Brown M
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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Endovascular treatment of atherosclerotic carotid artery stenosis may be an alternative to surgical endarterectomy. To evaluate the safety and efficacy of endovascular techniques, we conducted a systematic review of randomized studies that compared endovascular treatment with surgery for carotid stenosis. METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Stroke Group trials register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Science Citation Index for randomized trials of carotid angioplasty and/or stenting compared with surgery. We also contacted researchers in the field and balloon catheter and stent manufacturers. RESULTS: Five trials involving 1269 patients were included. Analysis of 30-day safety data found no significant difference in the odds of treatment-related death or any stroke (odds ratio [OR], endovascular surgery, 1.33; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.86 to 2.04), death or disabling stroke (OR, 1.22; CI, 0.61 to 2.41), or death, any stroke, or myocardial infarction (OR, 1.04; CI, 0.69 to 1.57). At 1 year after randomization, there was no significant difference between the 2 treatments in the rate of any stroke or death (OR, 1.01; CI, 0.71 to 1.44). Endovascular treatment significantly reduced the risk of cranial nerve injury (OR, 0.13; CI, 0.06 to 0.25). There was substantial heterogeneity between the trials for 4 of the 5 outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: No significant difference in the major risks of treatment was found but the wide confidence intervals indicate that it is not possible to exclude a difference in favor of one treatment. Minor complication rates favor endovascular treatment. There is currently insufficient evidence to support a widespread change in clinical practice away from recommending carotid endarterectomy as the treatment of choice for suitable carotid artery stenosis. Patients suitable for carotid endarterectomy should only be offered stenting within the ongoing randomized trials of stenting versus surgery.

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  • L.J.<BR> Coward

  • R.L.<BR> Featherstone

  • M.M.<BR> Brown

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