Open Heart Surgery Does Not Increase the Incidence of Ipsilateral Ischemic Stroke in Patients with Asymptomatic Severe Carotid Stenosis.

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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: We evaluated the incidence of perioperative stroke following the institution's 2007 practice change of discontinuing combined carotid endarterectomy and open heart surgery (OHS) for patients with severe carotid stenosis.

METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, we compared 113 patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting, aortic valve replacement, or both from 2007 to 2011 with data collected from 2001 to 2006 from a similar group of patients. Our aim was to assess whether the practice change led to a greater incidence of stroke.

RESULTS: A total of 7350 consecutive patients undergoing OHS during the specified time period were screened. Of these, 3030 had OHS between 2007 and 2011 but none were combined with carotid artery surgery (new cohort). The remaining 4320 had OHS before 2007 and 44 had combined procedures (old cohort). Of patients undergoing OHS during the 10-year period of observation, 230 had severe (>80%) carotid stenosis. In the old cohort (before 2007), carotid stenosis was associated with perioperative stroke in 2.5% of cases. None of the 113 patients having cardiac procedures after 2007 received combined carotid artery surgery; only 1 of these patients harboring severe carotid stenosis had an ischemic stroke (.9%) during the perioperative period. The difference in stroke incidence between the 2 cohorts was statistically significant (P = .002).

CONCLUSION: The incidence of stroke in patients with severe carotid artery stenosis undergoing OHS was lower after combined surgery was discontinued. Combined carotid and OHS itself seems to be an important risk factor for stroke.




Medical Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Neurology




Department of Medicine, Department of Medicine Faculty, Network Office of Research and Innovation

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