Influence of the type of cerebral infarct and timing of intervention in the early outcomes after carotid endarterectomy for symptomatic stenosis

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Abstract

Objective:

Our objectives were to compare early postoperative outcomes after carotid endarterectomy for symptomatic carotid stenosis and to analyze the impact of time to treatment between patients with a territorial or a border-zone infarct.

Methods:

This is a single-center, retrospective study carried out on data from a single-center, prospective database. Patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy for symptomatic carotid stenosis after an ipsilateral acute ischemic stroke were included between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2013. The only exclusion criterion was a mixed-topography stroke. We included 114 patients who were retrospectively divided into groups according to the location of the infarct: group TI for territorial infarction and group BZ for border-zone infarction. The primary end point was the 30-day death or stroke rate.

Results:

Ninety patients were included in the TI group (79%) and 24 in the BZ group (21%) with a mean age of 73 ± 11 years. All demographic data were similar between the two groups except for dyslipidemia, which was greater in the BZ group (72% vs 47%, P = .03) and the subocclusive feature of carotid stenosis (14% in the TI group vs 33% in the BZ group, P .04). There was one death and one stroke in each group, with a 30-day death and stroke rate of 2% in the TI group and 8% in the BZ group (P = .18). Multivariate analysis showed that the National Institute of Health Stroke Score (NIHSS) score was the only independent predictive factor of complications with an increase of 36% per additional point in this score. Sixty-eight patients (76%) in the TI group and 14 (58%) in the BZ group were operated on during the first 2 weeks after the neurological event. In this subgroup, the 30-day death or stroke rate was 2% in the TI group (one stroke) vs 14% in the BZ group (one stroke and one death; P = .06). The preoperative NIHSS score was again the only factor significantly associated with the postoperative complication rate (P = .03).

Conclusions:

In our series, surgery for patients with symptomatic carotid stenosis after border-zone infarction resulted in more complications than after territorial infarction, although no significant differences were found. This study nonetheless raised questions concerning the optimal timing of carotid surgery depending on the type of the original stroke. Other larger-scale studies are necessary to determine whether the type of cerebral infarction needs to be taken into account in decisions whether to operate on the diseased carotid as early as possible.

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