A comparison of results of carotid endarterectomy in octogenarians and nonagenarians to younger patients from the Mid-America Vascular Study Group and the Society for Vascular Surgery Vascular Quality Initiative

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Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) reduces stroke risk in selected patients. However, CEA risk profile may be different in older patients. We compared characteristics and outcomes of octogenarians and nonagenarians with those of younger patients.


Deidentified data from CEA patients were obtained from the Society for Vascular Surgery Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI) database. Prior CEA, carotid artery stent, or combined CEA and coronary artery bypass were excluded, yielding 7390 CEAs in octogenarians and nonagenarians (≥80 years of age) and 35,303 CEAs in younger patients (<80 years of age). We compared post-CEA outcomes, including periprocedural cerebral ischemic events and death, and details such as operative time, bleeding, and return to surgery.


Octogenarians and nonagenarians were more likely to have pre-CEA neurologic symptoms (51.4% vs 45.6%; P < .001) and to have never smoked (37.8% vs 22.0%; P < .001), and they were slightly more likely to have required urgent CEA (16.1% vs 13.4%; P < .001). Stenosis ≥70% was similar (octogenarians and nonagenarians, 94.2%; younger patients, 94.4%; P = .45). Perioperative ipsilateral neurologic events and ipsilateral stroke were slightly more common among octogenarians and nonagenarians (1.6% vs 1.1% [P < .001] and 1.2% vs 0.8% [P = .002]). Multivariate modeling (logistic regression) showed that pre-CEA neurologic symptoms (odds ratios, 1.35 [P = .005] and 1.42 [P = .007]), pre-CEA ipsilateral cortical ischemic event (odds ratios, 1.18 [P < .001] and 1.20 [P < .001]), and urgency (odds ratios, 1.75 [P < .001] and 1.67 [P < .001]) remained strong predictors of any ipsilateral neurologic event and any ipsilateral stroke, respectively. However, age ≥80 years remained a significant predictor of these outcomes (odds ratios, 1.37 [P = .003] and 1.44 [P = .004]). Kaplan-Meier estimated survival was lower for octogenarians and nonagenarians at 30 days and 1 year (98.6% vs 99.4% and 93.7% vs 97.0%; log-rank, P < .001). Age ≥80 years was also associated with a greater rate of discharge to other than home after CEA, a difference that was only partially explained by comorbidities in multivariate modeling.


CEA was performed with low rates of perioperative neurologic events and mortality. Multivariate testing showed that the higher rate of neurologic complications in octogenarians and nonagenarians appeared partially related to symptomatic status and urgent surgery; but after adjusting for these factors, age ≥80 years still predicted a slightly higher rate. Periprocedural CEA outcomes appear similar in comparing older and younger patients, although longer term survival is lower for older patients, and older patients are at greater risk of discharge to other than home. CEA was associated with slightly higher risk of neurologic complications in older patients but may be considered appropriate for selected octogenarians and nonagenarians.

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