The Delay in Reporting Symptoms of Carotid Artery Stenosis in an At-Risk Population. The Asymptomatic Carotid Atherosclerosis Study Experience: a Statement of Concern Regarding Watchful Waiting.
OBJECTIVE: To examine whether patients in the Asymptomatic Carotid Atherosclerosis Study reported symptoms of cerebral and retinal ischemia promptly to the investigating team.
DESIGN: Cohort study within the Asymptomatic Carotid Atherosclerosis Study, a prospective, randomized, multicenter clinical trial, with a median follow-up time of 2.7 years.
SETTING: Thirty-nine clinical sites across the United States and Canada.
PATIENTS: Patients with asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis (> or = 60% reduction in diameter) who experienced either a transient ischemic attack (TIA) (n = 115) or stroke (n = 127) during the follow-up period, as verified by an external committee.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Proportion of patients who reported cerebrovascular symptoms to a study nurse or physician within 3 days of occurrence.
RESULTS: Thirty-seven patients (32.2%) experiencing TIA and 57 (44.9%) experiencing stroke reported symptoms to the study staff within 3 days of onset. For TIA, there was a statistically significant inverse association between prompt reporting and the amount of time a patient was enrolled in the study before the event occurred (48% with TIA occurring within 6 months vs 9% with TIA after year 3; P = .04). For stroke, there was a statistically significant association between prompt reporting and treatment arm (56% for the surgical vs 38% for the medical group; P = .05). For either TIA or stroke, none of the other factors examined were significantly associated with prompt reporting.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite extensive education and reinforcement, fewer than 40% of all first events were reported within 3 days and fewer than 25% were reported in less than 24 hours. Frequent outpatient evaluation of high-risk patients and careful review of symptoms is necessary to determine when asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis has become symptomatic to offer appropriate forms of therapy.
Published In/Presented At
Castaldo, J. E., Nelson, J. J., Reed, J. 3., Longenecker, J. E., & Toole, J. F. (1997). The delay in reporting symptoms of carotid artery stenosis in an at-risk population. The Asymptomatic Carotid Atherosclerosis Study experience: a statement of concern regarding watchful waiting. Archives Of Neurology, 54(10), 1267-1271.
Medical Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Neurology | Nursing
Department of Medicine, Department of Medicine Faculty, Patient Care Services / Nursing, Department of Community Health and Health Studies