Cerebrovascular Events After Cardiovascular Procedures: Risk Factors, Recognition, and Prevention Strategies

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2018 May 1;71(17):1910-1920. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2018.02.065.


Stroke has long been a devastating complication of any cardiovascular procedure that unfavorably affects survival and quality of life. Over time, strategies have been developed to substantially reduce the incidence of stroke after traditional cardiovascular procedures such as coronary artery bypass grafting, isolated valve surgery, and carotid endarterectomy. Subsequently, with the advent of minimally invasive technologies including percutaneous coronary intervention, carotid artery stenting, and transcatheter valve therapies, operators were faced with a new host of procedural risk factors, and efforts again turned toward identifying novel ways to reduce the risk of stroke. Fortunately, by understanding the procedural factors unique to these new techniques and applying many of the lessons learned from prior experiences, we are seeing significant improvements in the safety of these new technologies. In this review, the authors: 1) carefully analyze data from different cardiac procedural experiences ranging from traditional open heart surgery to percutaneous coronary intervention and transcatheter valve therapies; 2) explore the unique risk factors for stroke in each of these areas; and 3) describe how these risks can be mitigated with improved patient selection, adjuvant pharmacotherapy, procedural improvements, and novel technological advancements.

Keywords: aortic valve replacement; carotid endarterectomy; coronary artery bypass grafting; stroke; transcatheter percutaneous coronary intervention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Stroke / diagnosis
  • Stroke / etiology*
  • Stroke / prevention & control