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To assess the circadian blood pressure profile observed 3 months after endarterectomy.Twenty-five patients undergoing unilateral or bilateral carotid endarterectomy were compared with a control population of 20 patients, matched for age, sex, weight and drug therapy. Casual mean blood pressure measured by mercury sphygmomanometry was similar in both groups.Non-invasive ambulatory blood pressure monitoring showed that, whereas mean arterial pressure was identical in both groups, the group undergoing surgery had a significant increase in pulse pressure and its variability over 24 h. Such abnormalities predominated during the nocturnal period, in which the reduction in systolic blood pressure was less pronounced in the operated group than in controls. For all parameters there was no significant difference between subjects with unilateral or bilateral endarterectomy.This study provides evidence that patients with carotid endarterectomy were characterized in the long term by an increase in the pulsatile component of blood pressure and its variability, in association with a disturbance in the physiological circadian rhythm. Such findings were not identified using casual blood pressure measurements.