Background: This guideline (GL) on carotid surgery as updating of "Stroke: Italian guidelines for Prevention and Treatment" of the ISO-SPREAD Italian Stroke Organization-Group, has recently been published in the National Guideline System and shared with the Italian Society of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery (SICVE) and other Scientific Societies and Patient's Association.
Methods: GRADE-SIGN version, AGREE quality of reporting checklist. Clinical questions formulated according to the PICO model. Recommendations developed based on clinical questions by a multidisciplinary experts' panel and patients' representatives. Systematic reviews performed for each PICO question. Considered judgements filled by assessing the evidence level, direction, and strength of the recommendations.
Results: The panel provided indications and recommendations for appropriate, comprehensive, and individualized management of patients with carotid stenosis. Diagnostic and therapeutic processes of the best medical therapy, carotid endarterectomy (CEA), carotid stenting (CAS) according to the evidences and the judged opinions were included. Symptomatic carotid stenosis in elective and emergency, asymptomatic carotid stenosis, association with ischemic heart disease, preoperative diagnostics, types of anesthesia, monitoring in case of CEA, CEA techniques, comparison between CEA and CAS, post-surgical carotid restenosis, and medical therapy are the main topics, even with analysis of uncertainty areas for risk-benefit assessments in the individual patient (personalized medicine [PM]).
Conclusions: This GL updates on the main recommendations for the most appropriate diagnostic and medical-surgical management of patients with atherosclerotic carotid artery stenosis to prevent ischemic stroke. This GL also provides useful elements for the application of PM in good clinical practice.