Background and purpose: Guidelines recommend that carotid endarterectomy should be performed within 2 weeks in patients with a symptomatic carotid stenosis. Because a Swedish register study indicated that patients treated within the first days after a stroke or transient ischemic attack might have an increased perioperative stroke and mortality risk, this study aimed to find out whether these findings are also true under everyday conditions in Germany.
Methods: Secondary data analysis including 56 336 elective carotid endarterectomy procedures performed for symptomatic carotid stenosis under everyday conditions between 2009 and 2014. The patient cohort was divided into 4 groups according to time interval between index event and surgery (I: 0-2, II: 3-7, III: 8-14, and IV: 14-180 days). Primary outcome was any in-hospital stroke or death. For risk-adjusted analyses, a multilevel multivariable regression model was used.
Results: Mean patients' age was 71.1±9.6 years; 67.5% were men. Overall rate of any stroke or death was 2.5% (n=1434). Risk of any in-hospital stroke or death was 3.0% in group I, 2.5% in group II, 2.6% in group III, and 2.3% in group IV. Multivariable regression analysis revealed that the time interval was not significantly associated with the primary outcome.
Conclusions: The time interval between the index event and carotid endarterectomy was not associated with the risk of any in-hospital stroke or death in patients with symptomatic carotid stenosis in Germany. In clinically stable patients, carotid endarterectomy might, therefore, be performed safely as soon as possible after the neurological index event.
Keywords: amaurosis fugax; carotid stenosis; cohort studies; ischemic attack, transient; systolic time interval.
© 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.