Medical Therapy Before Carotid Endarterectomy: Changes Over a 13-Year Period and Comparison Between Asymptomatic and Symptomatic Patients

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We evaluated the evolution of chronic medical therapy in patients admitted for carotid endarterectomy (CEA) over a 13-year period and to analyze the difference in medical treatment between symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. A retrospective study was conducted on patients treated between 2002 and 2015. The use of antiplatelets (acetylsalicylic acid [ASA], ticlopidine, and clopidogrel), oral anticoagulant therapy (OAT), statins and antihypertensives (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors [ACE-I]/angiotensin receptor blockers [ARBs], β-blockers [BB]) administration was evaluated. During the study period, 852 CEAs were performed in 681 (79.9%) asymptomatic patients. Prescription rate increased significantly for ASA (+29.2%), clopidogrel (+10.3%), statins (+60.8%), ACE-I/ARBs (+31.1%), and BB (+19.3%; all Ptrend < .05). No significant modification was observed for ticlopidine and OAT (ticlopidine use was abandoned in the recent years, but this difference was not significant due to the small numbers). A lower medication intake was recorded for symptomatic patients when compared with asymptomatic patients, except for OAT and clopidogrel. Our analysis suggests that medical therapy has changed over the years for patients with carotid stenosis. Although this is a big step toward best medical therapy, preoperative drug therapy remains suboptimal in symptomatic patients.

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