[ Back to EurekAlert! ]

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
16-Jan-2008

[ | E-mail ] Share Share

Contact: Jayne Dawkins
ja.dawkins@elsevier.com
215-239-3674
Elsevier
@elseviernews

Vascular surgeons ask, what's next for carotid artery stenting?

Philadelphia, PA, January 16, 2008 - A procedure called carotid artery stenting (CAS) has emerged as a minimally invasive alternative to surgery, called carotid endarterectomy (CEA), for patients with dangerous narrowing of the arteries supplying blood to the brain. However, questions remain about the best uses of this procedure--especially whether it is an appropriate alternative to surgery for "low-risk" patients, according to a special article in the January/February issue of Annals of Vascular Surgery.

"Currently, the choice of CEA versus CAS in individual patients is based more on individual practitioner experience than on clear evidence-derived guidelines," according to the new article by Drs. Philip P. Goodney and Richard J. Powell of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, N.H. "Nonetheless, the popularity of less-invasive therapy combined with marketing of new CAS systems has increased the utilization of CAS."

Drs. Goodney and Powell review and summarize the research evidence on CAS to prevent stroke in patients with narrowing (stenosis) of the carotid arteries. In the CAS procedure, an expandable mesh device called a stent is placed to increase blood flow through the area of stenosis.

Recently, several randomized controlled trials--the strongest category of scientific evidence--have directly compared the results of CAS and CEA. It has now been fairly well established that CAS and CEA yield comparable results in "high-risk" patients.

However, debate continues as to the role of CAS in the much larger group of "low-risk" patients. Some studies suggest that CAS and CEA produce similar results, but others have found a lower rate of serious complications and death in patients undergoing surgery.

Drs. Goodney and Powell note several limitations of the research that make it difficult to compare results between trials. Studies being conducted now will help to clarify the relative performance of the two techniques in both high-risk and low-risk patients. A key question will be whether CAS or CEA is the better choice for patients considered high-risk because of medical conditions.

Other issues that will need to be worked through include refinements in the design of CAS systems and the role of detailed imaging studies in guiding treatment decisions. "Ongoing randomized trials will help determine optimal revascularization strategies in the future," the authors conclude.

###

Notes to Editors:

Full text of the article mentioned above is available upon request. Contact Jayne M. Dawkins at (215) 239-3674 or ja.dawkins@elsevier.com to obtain a copy or to schedule an interview. The article appears in Annals of Vascular Surgery, January/February 2007, published by Elsevier.

About Annals of Vascular Surgery

Annals of Vascular Surgery (http://www.annalsofvascularsurgery.com/) provides solid, peer reviewed coverage of clinical and experimental work in vascular surgery. Published bi-monthly, Annals includes original research articles, basic science research, surgical notes and techniques, reviews and case reports. The journal is the official publication for the French Society for Vascular Surgery, Peripheral Vascular Surgery Society, and the Southern California Vascular Surgical Society

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. Working in partnership with the global science and health communities, Elsevier's 7,000 employees in over 70 offices worldwide publish more than 2,000 journals and 1,900 new books per year, in addition to offering a suite of innovative electronic products, such as ScienceDirect (http://www.sciencedirect.com/), MD Consult (http://www.mdconsult.com/), Scopus (http://www.info.scopus.com/), bibliographic databases, and online reference works.

Elsevier (http://www.elsevier.com/) is a global business headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and has offices worldwide. Elsevier is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc (http://www.reedelsevier.com/), a world-leading publisher and information provider. Operating in the science and medical, legal, education and business-to-business sectors, Reed Elsevier provides high-quality and flexible information solutions to users, with increasing emphasis on the Internet as a means of delivery. Reed Elsevier's ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).



[ Back to EurekAlert! ] [ | E-mail Share Share ]

 


AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.