Objectives: White matter hyperintense lesions (WMHLs) are related to age, hypertension, and ischemia. They increase the risk of stroke in natural history and perioperatively during carotid endarterectomy. This may reflect an association with impaired cerebral hemodynamics. Hence, the authors studied whether ipsilateral WMHLs predict shunt requirement on clamping as an indicator of hemodynamic compromise.
Design and methods: A retrospective analysis was done in patients with symptomatic and severe carotid stenosis (>60%). Ipsilateral WMHL volumes were calculated from magnetic resonance imaging scans and association studied with the requirement of an intraoperative shunt.
Results: Seventy patients were included. Twelve (17%) patients required shunting and 2 developed perioperative strokes. Patients requiring shunting had a larger WMHL volume (adjusted means = 16.2 +/- 2.9 mL compared with 8.7 +/- 1.2 mL for the nonshunt group; P = .020).
Conclusions: Ipsilateral WMHL volume is a significant predictive factor for shunt requirement during carotid endarterectomy. This may reflect cerebral hemodynamic compromise.