Objective: Cerebral embolisation constitutes the main source of complications during transfemoral carotid artery stenting (CAS) and is associated with a high incidence of silent brain infarction. The goal of this study is to evaluate the incidence of new ischaemic cerebral lesions following transcervical CAS with carotid flow reversal for neuroprotection.
Materials and methods: Thirty-one consecutive patients underwent transcervical CAS with carotid flow reversal. A stroke scale and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) were performed within 24 h before and after the procedure. DW-MRI studies were compared blindly by two independent neuroradiologists. New hyper-intense DW signals were interpreted as ischaemic infarcts. The progress of all patients was followed for at least 30 days following intervention.
Results: All procedures were technically successful. Nineteen (61%) patients were symptomatic Mean carotid flow reversal time was 22 min. There were no major adverse events at 30 days. All patients remained neurologically intact without increase in the stroke scale. Thirty subjects had paired DW-MRI studies. Post-procedural DW-MRI ischaemic infarcts were found in four (12.5%) patients, all ipsilateral to the treated hemisphere and asymptomatic. During follow-up, all stents remained patent and all patients remained stroke-free.
Conclusions: These data suggest that transcervical carotid stenting with carotid flow reversal carries a low incidence of new ischaemic infarcts, significantly lower than that reported with transfemoral CAS. The transcervical approach with carotid flow reversal may improve the safety of CAS and has the potential to produce results comparable to those of carotid endarterectomy.
Copyright (c) 2010 European Society for Vascular Surgery. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.