Divergent opinions regarding operative risks and late prognosis of patients undergoing endarterectomy for carotid stenosis with contralateral carotid occlusion have prompted a review of the experience at Emory University Hospital from Jan. 1, 1978, through Dec. 31, 1982. Fifty-four patients (37 men, 17 women; mean age 63 years) who underwent carotid endarterectomy (CEA) with contralateral carotid occlusion (group I) were compared with 410 demographically similar patients without contralateral carotid occlusion (group II) who underwent 503 CEAs during the same interval. CEA indications in group I were the following and were proportionately similar to those of group II: hemispheric transient ischemic attacks, 22 patients; asymptomatic stenosis, 12 patients; nonhemispheric symptoms, 11 patients; previous cerebral infarction, eight patients; and vascular tinnitus, one patient. General anesthesia, routine intraluminal shunting, systemic heparinization, and arteriotomy closure without patch were routinely employed in both groups. Three patients in group I suffered permanent neurologic deficits after operation (5.6%) and two had transient postoperative deficits with complete recovery. Ten patients (2.0%) in group II suffered permanent neurologic deficits and 10 patients experienced transient neurologic events after operation. Neither the transient nor the permanent neurologic deficit rates were statistically different (p greater than 0.05; Fisher exact test) in the two groups. Operative mortality rates for group I and group II were 0% and 0.8%, respectively, and were not significantly different (p greater than 0.10; Fisher exact test). Late postoperative ischemic brain infarctions occurred in two patients in group I (3.8%) and in 13 patients (3.6%) in group II (p greater than 0.10; Fisher exact test). Kaplan-Meier survival analyses were virtually identical in both groups, with the majority of deaths caused by cardiac occlusion may undergo CEA with morbidity and mortality rates similar to those without contralateral occlusions. Contralateral carotid occlusion does not necessarily portend an unfavorable early or late prognosis after CEA.