Background: The efficacy of carotid endarterectomy (CEA) in octogenarians is controversial. Recent reports have examined this question in the general population, but little data exist on veterans. With the emergence of carotid artery stenting, we need to evaluate the role of CEA in treating elderly veterans with carotid stenosis.
Methods: Retrospective chart review of all CEAs performed between January 1995 and December 2004.
Results: A total of 286 procedures were performed in 239 patients; 39 procedures were performed in 33 octogenarians, and 247 procedures were performed in 206 younger veterans. Both groups had similar preoperative comorbidities. There were no statistically significant differences between octogenarians and younger veterans for postoperative stroke (2% vs. 1%), death (0% vs. 1%), myocardial infarction (5% vs. 2%), length of stay (7 +/- 19 vs. 3 +/- 8 days), or 4-year survival (53% vs. 57%).
Conclusions: CEA can be safely performed in octogenarian veterans with outcomes similar to younger veterans.