Summary of Evidence on Early Carotid Intervention for Recently Symptomatic Stenosis Based on Meta-Analysis of Current Risks

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Background and Purpose—

This study aimed to assess the evidence on the periprocedural (<30 days) risks of carotid intervention in relation to timing of procedure in patients with recently symptomatic carotid stenosis.


A systematic literature review of studies published in the past 8 years reporting periprocedural stroke/death after carotid endarterectomy (CEA) and carotid stenting (CAS) related to the time between qualifying neurological symptoms and intervention was performed. Pooled estimates of periprocedural risk for patients treated within 0 to 48 hours, 0 to 7 days, and 0 to 15 days were derived with proportional meta-analyses and reported separately for patients with stroke and transient ischemic attack as index events.


Of 47 studies included, 35 were on CEA, 7 on CAS, and 5 included both procedures. The pooled risk of periprocedural stroke was 3.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.6–4.3) after CEA and 4.8% (95% CI, 2.5–7.8) after CAS performed <15 days; stroke/death rates were 3.8% and 6.9% after CEA and CAS, respectively. Pooled periprocedural stroke risk was 3.3% (95% CI, 2.1–4.6) after CEA and 4.8% (95% CI, 2.5–7.8) after CAS when performed within 0 to 7 days. In hyperacute surgery (<48 hours), periprocedural stroke risk after CEA was 5.3% (95% CI, 2.8–8.4) but with relevant risk differences among patients treated after transient ischemic attack (2.7%; 95% CI, 0.5–6.9) or stroke (8.0%; 95% CI, 4.6–12.2) as index.


CEA within 15 days from stroke/transient ischemic attack can be performed with periprocedural stroke risk <3.5%. CAS within the same period may carry a stroke risk of 4.8%. Similar periprocedural risks occur after CEA and CAS performed earlier, within 0 to 7 days. Carotid revascularization can be safely performed within the first week (0–7 days) after symptom onset.

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