Background: Thirty percent to 40% of strokes in the elderly are secondary to carotid bifurcation disease. The treatment of internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis in this patient population is a clinical dilemma. Age more than 80 years is a risk factor for carotid endarterectomy (CEA). Carotid artery stenting (CAS) may be also associated with increased peri-procedural complications in this age group.
Design: This study was a single-center, retrospective database analysis evaluating CAS in patients more than 80 years old. Primary outcome included death, myocardial infarction (MI), or ipsilateral stroke. Secondary outcome included re-stenosis at 30 days, 6 months, and 1-year post-procedure.
Results: Between March 2001 and March 2004, CAS was performed in 178 patients. Twenty-four patients were more than 80 years old (range 80-91), and 16 men, 70.8%, were symptomatic. Success rate was 100% with residual stenosis of <20%. At the 30 days follow-up there was 1 non-Q wave MI (4.2%), 1 transitory ischemic attack (TIA), and 1 femoral occlusion in the symptomatic group. There were no deaths at 1-year follow-up evaluation as well as no ICA re-stenosis.
Conclusions: CAS can be performed in patients more than 80 years old. Complications may be higher than in younger patients. However, because of the high prevalence of stroke in octogenarians, randomized trials should include this patient population.