Importance: Transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR) may serve as a safer alternative to carotid endarterectomy (CEA) for certain patients with carotid artery stenosis.
Objective: To determine the center-level association of TCAR adoption with overall perioperative outcomes for TCAR and CEA combined at centers performing both procedures.
Design, setting, and participants: This comparative-effectiveness research was conducted with a difference-in-difference analysis using retrospective data from 2015 to 2019 from the Vascular Quality Initiative registry, a consortium of more than 400 centers in North America. Included patients underwent TCAR or CEA for carotid artery stenosis. Patients who underwent transfemoral carotid stenting were excluded. Data were analyzed from December 2019 through August 2020.
Exposures: Center-level adoption of TCAR vs not.
Main outcomes and measures: The rate of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), a composite of in-hospital stroke, myocardial infarction, or death at 30 days, was measured.
Results: Among 86 027 patients who underwent revascularization for carotid artery stenosis, 7664 patients (8.9%) underwent TCAR (mean [SD] age, 73.1 [9.6] years; 2788 [36.4%] women; 6938 White patients [90.6%]; and 3741 patients with symptoms [48.8%]) and 78 363 patients (91.1%) underwent CEA (mean [SD] age, 70.6 [9.2] years; 30 928 [39.5%] women; 70 663 White patients [90.2%]; and 37 883 patients with symptoms [48.3%]). The number of centers performing both TCAR and CEA increased from 15 centers in 2015 to 247 centers in 2019, a more than 16-fold increase. The proportion of all carotid procedures that were TCARs increased from 90 of 12 276 (0.7%) in 2015 to 2718 of 15 956 (17.0%) in 2019, a 24-fold increase. Overall, the crude rate of MACE was similar for TCAR and CEA (178 patients [2.3%] after TCAR vs 1842 patients [2.4%] after CEA; P = .91). However, the rate of MACE over time decreased for CEA (406 of 16 404 patients [2.5%] in 2015 vs 189 of 10 097 patients [1.9%] in 2019; P for trend < .001). The rate of MACE over time decreased for TCAR as well, but the change was not statistically significant (4 of 128 patients [3.1%] in 2016 vs 59 of 2718 patients [2.2%] in 2019; P for trend = .07). Difference-in-difference analysis demonstrated that centers that adopted TCAR had a 10% decrease in the likelihood of MACE at 12 months after TCAR adoption vs if those centers had continued to perform CEA alone (odds ratio, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.81-0.99; P = .04).
Conclusions and relevance: This comparative-effectiveness study of a cohort of patients who underwent TCAR or CEA found that availability of TCAR at a hospital was associated with a decrease in the likelihood of perioperative MACE after carotid revascularization.