Background: Carotid artery stent (CAS) placement is an alternative to carotid endarterectomy (CEA) for stroke prevention. Clinical adoption of CAS depends on its safety and efficacy compared to CEA. There are conflicting reports in the literature regarding the safety of CAS in the elderly. To address these safety concerns, we report our single-center 13-year CAS experience in very elderly (> or =80 years of age) patients.
Methods: Between 1994 and 2007, 816 CAS procedures were performed at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation. Very elderly patients, those > or =80 years of age, accounted for 126 (15%) of all CAS procedures. Independent neurologic examination was performed before and after the CAS procedure.
Results: The average patient age was 82.9 +/- 2.9 years. Almost one-half (44%) were women and 40% were symptomatic from their carotid stenoses. One-third of the elderly patients met anatomic criteria for high surgical risk as their indication for CAS. The procedural success rate was 100% with embolic protection devices used in 50%. The 30-day major adverse coronary or cerebral events (MACCE) rate was 2.7% (n = 3) with all events occurring in the symptomatic patient group [death = 0.9% (n = 1), myocardial infarction = 0%, major (disabling) stroke = 0.9% (n = 1), and minor stroke = 0.9% (n = 1)].
Conclusion: Elderly patients, > or =80 years of age, may undergo successful CAS with a very low adverse event rate as determined by an independent neurological examination. We believe that careful case selection and experienced operators were keys to our success.
Copyright 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.