Purpose: The North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial (NASCET) has thus far demonstrated conclusive benefit for carotid endarterectomy for patients with symptomatic 70% to 99% internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis. In the NASCET, ICA stenosis was classified angiographically: % ICA stenosis = (1 - [narrowest ICA diameter/diameter normal distal cervical ICA]) x 100%. However, widely used duplex scan criteria for ICA stenosis correlate with different angiographic categories of high-grade stenosis (50% to 79%, > 80%) and were developed on the basis of estimated bulb diameter. We therefore blindly evaluated with separate observers carotid angiograms from 100 patients who also underwent carotid duplex scanning in our vascular laboratory.
Methods: "Angiographic stenosis" was calculated as in NASCET. Duplex scan measurements of ICA peak systolic velocity (PSV), ICA end-diastolic velocity, and the ratio of ICA PSV to common carotid artery (CCA) PSV were analyzed for sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and overall accuracy to identify a 70% to 99% ICA stenosis.
Results: Analysis of the data revealed that an ICA PSV/CCA PSV ratio of 4.0 provided the best combination of sensitivity (91%), specificity (87%), positive predictive value (76%), negative predictive value (96%), and overall accuracy (88%) for detection of a 70% to 99% stenosis.
Conclusion: We conclude duplex scan determination of 70% to 99% stenosis as defined in the NASCET requires the adoption of duplex criteria modified from those in current use in most vascular laboratories.