Early outcomes of carotid artery stenting

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Background and aim: Ischemic cerebrovascular events are the most common reason for patients to be bedridden and the third most common reason for death. Many studies in recent years have demonstrated that carotid artery stenting (CAS) may be an alternative to carotid endarterectomy (CEA). In this study, we aimed to report early outcomes of patients who were treated with CAS in our clinic and discuss practicability, advantages and safety of CAS.

Methods and Findings: Eighty patients who underwent CAS between December 2009 and May 2011 were eligible. The mean age was 65 years (range, 49 - 89 years). Of the study group, 73.75% were males and 26.25% were female. The percentage of asymptomatic patients was 11.7%, and the remaining patients were symptomatic. A distal embolic protection device (Angioguard®) was used in 22% of the patients whereas, in the other patients (78%), a proximal blockage system (Mo. MA®) was used. Self-expandable hybrid stents were implanted in all patients and post-dilatation was performed after implantation. None of the patients suffered from stroke, myocardial infarction or death due to CAS during their hospital stay. The mean follow-up period was 10 months (range 2 - 18 months) after discharge. None of the patients had died or had a stroke, a transient ischemic attack (TIA), or a myocardial infarction during the follow-up period. Re-stenosis was not observed in the follow-up carotid Doppler ultrasonography; flow rates were within normal limits.

Conclusion: No major complication was observed during the early follow-up period in patients who underwent CAS in our clinic. Only 2 (2.5%) patients showed transient numbness and weakness and these did not lead to morbidity. In the management guide of extracranial carotid and vertebral artery diseases, CAS, in the light of recent studies, is recommended as an alternative to CEA in recommendations for revascularization. One of the important issues emphasized in this guide is the experience of centers. Very low complication rates after CAS suggested that, with suitable patient selection and an experienced team, similar results may be obtained.

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