Cerebral Infarct Topography and Early Outcome after Surgery for Symptomatic Carotid Stenosis: A Multicentre Study

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Introduction: Although carotid stenosis can cause both territorial and border-zone (BZ) cerebral infarcts (CI), the influence of CI topography on postoperative complications after surgery remains unclear. We compared early outcomes after endarterectomy on the basis of CI location: territorial (T group) or BZ group. Material and Methods: During the period between 2009 and 2013, ischaemic stroke patients who had undergone surgery for symptomatic carotid stenosis were identified from prospective databases from 3 French centres. The outcome was the identification of a combined stroke/death rate 30 days after endarterectomy. Results: Two hundred and eighty-nine patients were included, 216 (74.7%) in the T group and 73 (25.3%) in the BZ group. The mean degree of stenosis was comparable in the 2 groups (78 ± 12% in the T group vs. 80 ± 12% in the BZ group, p = 0.105), with, however, more sub-occlusions (stenosis >90%) in the BZ group (38.4 vs. 23.1%, p = 0.012). The mean time between the time CI developed and the time surgery was performed was 19.6 ± 24.8 days, with a majority of patients being operated upon within 2 weeks following the formation of CI (66.7% in the T group vs. 60.3% in the BZ group, p = 0.322). The combined endpoint was significantly more frequent in the BZ group (9.6 vs. 1.9%, p = 0.003), with 4 ischaemic strokes and 3 deaths. In multivariate analysis, BZ CI was an independent predictor of postoperative stroke or death at 30 days (HR 4.91-95% CI [1.3-18.9], p = 0.020). Conclusion: BZ infarcts carry a greater risk of postoperative complications after carotid surgery, thus suggesting that topography of the CI should be considered in the decision-making process regarding surgery.

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