Beta-blocker use is associated with lower stroke and death after carotid artery stenting

J Vasc Surg. 2016 Feb;63(2):363-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2015.08.108. Epub 2015 Oct 30.


Background: Proper selection of patients for carotid artery stenting (CAS) remains controversial despite multiple controlled trials. This relates in part to differences in interpretation of the relative importance of myocardial vs stroke complications after the procedure by different specialties and a lack of granular clinical data to analyze outcomes outside the large clinical trials. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of preoperative medications, procedure parameters, and patient characteristics on outcomes of CAS performed in a multispecialty national database.

Methods: We analyzed all patients who underwent CAS between 2005 and 2014 in the Vascular Quality Initiative. A multivariate logistic regression model was built to assess the effects of age, gender, comorbidities, smoking, preprocedure medications, procedure details, and hypotension or hypertension that required intravenous medication on 30-day death or stroke rates.

Results: A total of 5263 patients underwent CAS (mean age, 70 years; 63% male). The 30-day stroke/death rate was 3.4% (1.5% minor stroke, 0.9% major stroke, and 1.2% death; 40% of patients who had major strokes died within 30 days), and the myocardial infarction rate was 0.8%. Postprocedural hypertension requiring treatment occurred in 519 cases (9.9%), and it was associated with a 3.4-fold increase in stroke/death (odds ratio, 3.39; 95% confidence interval, 2.30-5.00; P < .0001). Preprocedural beta-blocker use for >30 days was associated with a 34% reduction in the stroke/death risk (odds ratio, 0.66; 95% confidence interval, 0.46-0.95; P = .025) compared with nonuse. Beta-blocker use was not associated with postprocedural hypotension. Other predictors of postoperative stroke and death included age, symptomatic status, diabetes (type 1 or type 2), and postprocedural hypotension, whereas prior carotid endarterectomy and distal embolic protection use were protective.

Conclusions: Postprocedural hypertension and hypotension that require treatment are both strongly associated with periprocedural stroke/death after CAS. Beta blockers significantly reduce the stroke/death risk associated with carotid stenting and should be investigated prospectively for potential use during CAS.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angioplasty / adverse effects
  • Angioplasty / instrumentation*
  • Angioplasty / mortality
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / complications
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / diagnosis
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / mortality
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / physiopathology
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / therapy*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Protective Factors
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Stents*
  • Stroke / diagnosis
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Stroke / mortality
  • Stroke / physiopathology
  • Stroke / prevention & control*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States
  • Young Adult


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists