Copeptin is a sensitive and more stable surrogate marker for arginine vasopressin. In this study, we evaluated copeptin levels in carotid endarterectomy (CEA) patients, perioperatively, to determine whether copeptin levels can be related to carotid artery cross clamping (CC) time and to postoperative neurological outcomes. Copeptin, interleukin 6, C-reactive protein, cortisol, and brain natriuretic peptide were measured preoperatively (T1) and 3 hours postoperatively (T3) as well as intraoperatively (T2). We recruited 77 patients. Values of copeptin rose gradually over the observed times: T1 = 7.9 (6.4-9.6), T2 = 12.6 (9.3-16.8), and T3 = 72.3 (49.1-111.2) pmol/L. There was a significant difference for repeated measurement (P = .000, P = .000, and P = .000). Duration of carotid artery CC during CEA does not affect postoperative copeptin level (CC ≤ 13 minutes: 106.8 ± 93.6 pmol/L, CC > 13 minutes: 96.7 ± 89.1 pmol/L; P = .634). Preoperative copeptin level was significantly higher in patients with ulcerated plaque morphology. Activation of the stress axis in patients undergoing CEA results in copeptin elevation. Duration of CC during CEA does not affect postoperative copeptin levels.