Learning curve and proficiency of transcarotid artery revascularization compared to transfemoral carotid artery stenting

Semin Vasc Surg. 2020 Jun-Sep;33(1-2):16-23. doi: 10.1053/j.semvascsurg.2020.05.009. Epub 2020 Jun 2.


Both transfemoral carotid artery stenting (TF-CAS) and transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR) are competing endovascular alternatives to carotid endarterectomy for the treatment of atherosclerotic carotid artery stenosis. TF-CAS is an endovascular procedure associated with a long learning curve and higher periprocedural stroke and death rates during an operator's early experience. Estimates suggest that more than 50 cases are required to achieve outcomes similar to carotid endarterectomy. TCAR is a novel hybrid procedure combining direct common carotid artery access and cerebral blood flow reversal with carotid stent placement. In distinction from TF-CAS, TCAR has a rather short learning curve. A multi-institutional analysis showed that operators achieved technical proficiency after approximately 10 to 15 cases. This was reinforced by a large Society for Vascular Surgery, Vascular Quality Initiative Transcarotid Artery Revascularization Surveillance Project analysis that demonstrated that expertise peaked after approximately 20 cases. Both studies found that TCAR was not associated with an increased rate of stroke or death during operator's early experience. These data suggest that TCAR is readily learned and patients are not at increased risk during a surgeon's early experience.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angioplasty, Balloon* / adverse effects
  • Angioplasty, Balloon* / instrumentation
  • Carotid Stenosis / therapy*
  • Catheterization, Peripheral* / adverse effects
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Embolic Protection Devices
  • Femoral Artery*
  • Humans
  • Learning Curve*
  • Punctures
  • Risk Factors
  • Stents
  • Treatment Outcome