HONOLULU – , according to a pooled analysis presented at the International Stroke Conference sponsored by the American Heart Association. The treatments have similar rates of procedural complications and 4-year ipsilateral stroke, said Jon S. Matsumura, MD, chairman of the division of vascular surgery at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
Asymptomatic severe carotid stenosis is the most common indication for carotid operations in the United States. Data support carotid endarterectomy in selected asymptomatic patients. Carotid artery stenting with embolic protection is a newer treatment option. Two of the five most recent large, randomized trials – CREST and ACT I – compared carotid stenting with endarterectomy in asymptomatic patients. Dr. Matsumura and his colleagues conducted a pooled analysis of these two trials to help inform the choice of treatment.
The investigators analyzed data from the CREST and ACT I studies, which had many similarities. The researchers in these trials carefully selected the surgeons and the interventionalists who participated in them. Each trial used single carotid stent systems, and both trials used routine, distally placed embolic protection. The trials had independent neurologic assessment, routine cardiac enzyme screening, and central clinical and adjudication committees.
Dr. Matsumura and his colleagues decided to conduct a patient-level pooled analysis and defined the primary endpoint as a composite of death, stroke, and myocardial infarction in the periprocedural period and any ipsilateral stroke within 4 years of randomization. They included in their analysis all randomized, asymptomatic patients who were younger than 80 years.