Efficacy for carotid artery stenting (CAS) has not been confirmed by randomized clinical trial methodology in conventional risk patients. Although carotid endarterectomy (CEA) is considered the preferred method for carotid revascularization in the management of patients with symptomatic and asymptomatic extracranial carotid occlusive disease, comparisons between CAS and CEA are now underway. In North America, the CREST (Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy versus Stent Trial) protocol is now completing its lead-in or credentialing phase as randomization of cases is initiated. In Europe, the CAVATAS (Carotid and Vertebral Artery Transluminal Angioplasty Study) and Stent Protected Angioplasty versus Carotid Endarterectomy trials are recruiting symptomatic patients for randomization between CEA and CAS. It is anticipated that these trials will publish definitive results within the next 1 to 3 years, and help guide the referral of patients for CAS and CEA in the future.