Carotid endarterectomy in patients with significant renal dysfunction

J Vasc Surg. 1999 Apr;29(4):672-7. doi: 10.1016/s0741-5214(99)70313-7.


Purpose: Recent reports suggest that carotid endarterectomy (CEA) should not be performed in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) because of an unacceptable rate of perioperative stroke and other morbidity. Because these conclusions were based on a small number of patients, we reviewed the perioperative and long-term outcome of patients with ESRD and chronic renal insufficiency (CRI) who underwent CEA at our institution.

Methods: The 1081 patients who had a CEA between 1990 and 1997 were cross-referenced with those patients in whom renal insufficiency had been diagnosed. These charts were reviewed for patient demographics and perioperative and long-term outcome. Patients undergoing CEA during a 1-year period (1993) served as controls.

Results: Fifty-one CEAs were performed in 44 patients with CRI (32 in 27 patients) and ESRD (19 in 17 patients). In the CRI+ESRD group, 66.7% were symptomatic, and 70.7% of the control group were symptomatic. Six operations (11.8%) in the CRI+ESRD group were redo endarterectomies. There were no perioperative strokes in the CRI+ESRD group, but one patient died 29 days postoperatively because of a myocardial infarction, for a combined stroke-mortality rate of 2.0%. The control group had a 2.6% combined stroke-mortality rate. Long-term survival analysis revealed a 4-year survival rate of 12% for patients with ESRD and 54% for patients with CRI, compared with 72% for controls (P <.05).

Conclusion: CEA can be performed safely in patients with ESRD or CRI, with perioperative stroke and death rates equivalent to that of patients without renal dysfunction. However, the benefit of long-term stroke prevention in the asymptomatic patient with ESRD is in question because of the high 4-year mortality rate of this patient population.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carotid Stenosis / complications*
  • Carotid Stenosis / mortality
  • Carotid Stenosis / surgery
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Endarterectomy, Carotid*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / blood
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / mortality
  • Male
  • Survival Analysis


  • Creatinine