Predicting Medical and Surgical Complications of Carotid Endarterectomy: Comparing the Risk Indexes

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Several generic cardiac risk assessment tools predict perioperative cardiac complications, but their ability to predict a broader range of medical, neurologic, and surgical complications is unknown.


A multicenter retrospective observational cohort study of 1998 patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy (CEA). Complications within 30 days of surgery were assessed by medical record review, including death or nonfatal stroke and cardiac, noncardiac medical, minor neurologic, and wound complications. Logistic regression and receiver operating characteristic curve analyses assessed the predictive abilities of the Goldman, Detsky, Revised Cardiac Risk, and American Society of Anesthesiologists indexes and of 2 CEA-specific risk models (the Halm and Tu scores).


Death or stroke occurred in 3.2% of patients, cardiac complications in 4.0%, noncardiac medical complications in 3.2%, minor neurologic complications in 6.9%, and wound complications in 6.0%. All risk models (except the Tu score) significantly predicted cardiac complications equally well (P<.05). All 6 risk models were equivalent in predicting noncardiac medical complications. Only the Revised Cardiac Risk Index and the 2 CEA-specific risk models (Halm and Tu scores) predicted death or stroke and minor neurologic and wound complications. The Halm score was superior in predicting death or stroke compared with the Tu score and the Revised Cardiac Risk Index (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.72 vs 0.62 and 0.61, respectively; P<.05). Patients with cardiac, noncardiac medical, minor neurologic, or wound complications had 3- to 16-fold increased odds of death or stroke.


The Halm score CEA-specific risk model and the generic Revised Cardiac Risk Index predicted a broad range of medical, neurologic, and surgical complications following CEA.

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