Prosthetic bypass for restenosis after endarterectomy or stenting of the carotid artery

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Objective:The objective of this study was to evaluate the results of prosthetic carotid bypass (PCB) with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) grafts as an alternative to carotid endarterectomy (CEA) in treatment of restenosis after CEA or carotid artery stenting (CAS).Methods:From January 2000 to December 2014, 66 patients (57 men and 9 women; mean age, 71 years) presenting with recurrent carotid artery stenosis ≥70% (North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial [NASCET] criteria) were enrolled in a prospective study in three centers. The study was approved by an Institutional Review Board. Informed consent was obtained from all patients. During the same period, a total of 4321 CEAs were completed in the three centers. In these 66 patients, the primary treatment of the initial carotid artery stenosis was CEA in 57 patients (86%) and CAS in nine patients (14%). The median delay between primary and redo revascularization was 32 months. Carotid restenosis was symptomatic in 38 patients (58%) with transient ischemic attack (n = 20) or stroke (n = 18). In this series, all patients received statins; 28 patients (42%) received dual antiplatelet therapy, and 38 patients (58%) received single antiplatelet therapy. All PCBs were performed under general anesthesia. No shunt was used in this series. Nasal intubation to improve distal control of the internal carotid artery was performed in 33 patients (50%), including those with intrastent restenosis. A PTFE graft of 6 or 7 mm in diameter was used in 6 and 60 patients, respectively. Distal anastomosis was end to end in 22 patients and end to side with a clip distal to the atherosclerotic lesions in 44 patients. Completion angiography was performed in all cases. The patients were discharged under statin and antiplatelet treatment. After discharge, all of the patients underwent clinical and Doppler ultrasound follow-up every 6 months. Median length of follow-up was 5 years.Results:No patient died, sustained a stroke, or presented with a cervical hematoma during the postoperative period. One transient facial nerve palsy and two transient recurrent nerve palsies occurred. Two late strokes in relation to two PCB occlusions occurred at 2 years and 4 years; no other graft stenosis or infection was observed. At 5 years, overall actuarial survival was 81% ± 7%, and the actuarial stroke-free rate was 93% ± 2%. There were no fatal strokes.Conclusions:PCB with PTFE grafts is a safe and durable alternative to CEA in patients with carotid restenosis after CEA or CAS in situations in which CEA is deemed either hazardous or inadvisable.

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