Rates and Predictors of 5-Year Survival in a National Cohort of Asymptomatic Elderly Patients Undergoing Carotid Revascularization

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Current American Heart Association guidelines recommend carotid revascularization for asymptomatic patients on the basis of life expectancy.


To determine the rates and predictors of 5-year survival in elderly patients with asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis who underwent either carotid artery stent placement (CAS) or carotid endarterectomy (CEA).


The rates of 5-year survival were determined by use of Kaplan-Meier survival methods in a representative sample of fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries ≥65 years of age who underwent CAS or CEA for asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis with postprocedural follow-up of 3.4 ± 1.7 years. Cox proportional hazards analysis was used to assess the relative risk of all-cause mortality for patients in the presence of selected comorbidities, including ischemic heart disease, chronic renal failure, and atrial fibrillation, after adjustment for potential confounders such as age, sex, race/ethnicity, and procedure type.


A total of 22 177 patients with asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis were treated with either CAS (n = 2144) or CEA (n = 20 033). The overall estimated 5-year survival rate (±SE) was 95.3 ± 0.00149; it was 95.5% and 93.8% in patients treated with CEA and CAS, respectively. After adjustment for potential confounders, relative risk of all-cause 5-year mortality was significantly higher among patients with atrial fibrillation (relative risk, 1.8; 95% confidence interval, 1.5-2.1) and those with chronic renal failure (relative risk, 2.1; 95% confidence interval, 1.7-2.6).


Risks and benefits must be carefully weighed before carotid revascularization in elderly patients with asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis who have concurrent atrial fibrillation or chronic renal failure.


CAS, carotid artery stent placement


CEA, carotid endarterectomy


CI, confidence interval


ICD-9-CM,International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification


RR, relative risk

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