Management of Coexistent Carotid and Coronary Artery Disease

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Simultaneous coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and carotid endarterectomy (CE) were done on 133 patients over an 8-year period. Twenty-seven patients (20%) had previous transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), 12 (9%) had previous strokes, and the remainder (71%) were asymptomatic. All asymptomatic patients had greater than 85% stenosis of the internal carotid artery demonstrated by noninvasive ultrasonography and four-vessel angiography. CE was performed prior to the sternotomy for coronary artery bypass, under the same anesthesia. Nineteen patients had bilateral carotid artery disease. Postoperatively, three patients (2.3%) suffered strokes, an additional three patients (2.3%) suffered transient upper extremity weakness, and one patient from each of these groups died. There were no postoperative strokes or TIAs in patients with bilateral carotid artery disease. Average length of hospital stay was 10 days. Our experience leads us to conclude that the morbidity and mortality of the simultaneous procedure are not affected by bilateral carotid artery disease. In patients with symptomatic coronary artery disease and symptomatic carotid artery disease or asymptomatic carotid artery disease with a high-grade stenosis, we think that simultaneous repair of both lesions should be done.

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