Emergency Carotid Endarterectomy Instead of Carotid Artery Stenting Reduces Delayed Hemorrhage in Thrombectomy Stroke Patients

Clin Neuroradiol. 2021 Sep;31(3):737-744. doi: 10.1007/s00062-020-00954-7. Epub 2020 Sep 17.


Purpose: Data in the literature suggest that thrombectomy with emergency carotid artery stenting (CAS) in acute stroke is associated with an increased hemorrhage rate. As we perform thrombectomy with the patient under general anesthesia, we avoid emergency CAS and perform emergency carotid endarterectomy (CEA) as an alternative to CAS in the same anesthesia session in our angiography suite whenever needed and possible.

Methods: We compared 27 thrombectomy patients with emergency CEA and 62 thrombectomy patients with emergency CAS and glycoprotein (Gp) IIb/IIIa inhibitors and/or dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) in the same time span.

Results: The symptomatic hemorrhage rate was 0% (0/27) in the CEA group and 8% (5/62) in the CAS group (p = 0.317). The parenchymal hemorrhage rate (PH2) was 7% (2/27) in the CEA group and 16% (10/62) in the CAS group (p = 0.333). Both cases of PH2 in the CEA group occurred during the intervention and were diagnosed on immediate postinterventional imaging, whereas in the CAS group only 2/10 cases of PH2 occurred during the intervention and the remaining 8 PH2 occurred within 3 days after the intervention (p = 0.048). Clinical outcome at 90 days was comparable with 39% of CEA and 51% of CAS patients achieving good clinical outcome (modified Rankin scale, mRS 0-2, p = 0.452).

Conclusion: The use of CEA is a feasible alternative to CAS in acute stroke and has the advantage that DAPT/GpIIb/IIIa inhibitors are not needed. All PH2 in CEA patients occurred during the intervention, implying that hemorrhage in this group is likely to be caused by reperfusion injury, whereas delayed hemorrhage is likely to be caused by DAPT/GpIIb/IIIa inhibitors.

Keywords: Carotid endarterectomy; Carotid stenting; Hemorrhage; Stroke; Thrombectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Carotid Arteries
  • Carotid Stenosis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Stenosis* / surgery
  • Endarterectomy, Carotid*
  • Hemorrhage
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Stents
  • Stroke* / diagnostic imaging
  • Thrombectomy
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome