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Mar12
The Role of Carotid Endarterectomy in Preventing a Recurrent Episode of paralysis
Carotid reconstruction was first performed by Eastcott et al. at St. Mary's Hospital, London, in 1954. However, it took nearly four decades until trial evidence became available to show that carotid endarterectomy was better than best medical treatment in patients with amaurosis fugax or hemispheric symptoms, transient ischaemic attacks, or stroke who had made a good recovery and whose symptoms were caused by severe carotid bifurcation stenosis (>70% with the North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial [NASCET] method or >80% with the European Carotid Surgery Trial [ECST] method). The two-year risk of stroke in the medical arm of NASCET was 26% compared with 9% in those who underwent endarterectomy. Subsequently, the NASCET trialists reported that endarterectomy reduces the five-year risk of stroke in moderate stenosis (50%–69%) from 22.2% to 15.7%. A recent meta-analysis of the NASCET and ECST trials showed that benefit from surgery was greatest in men, patients aged 75 years or older, and those randomised within two weeks after their last ischaemic event, and fell rapidly with increasing delay.
Surgery is usually performed at six weeks if there is good recovery, but there is a tendency to perform it earlier in patients with transient ischaemic attacks or strokes with good recovery when CT brain scan shows no infarct. Surgery reduces the risk of stroke by 50% even if the event occurred more than six months previously, as shown by the Medical Research Council Asymptomatic Carotid Surgery Trial .
While recovering from stroke and awaiting carotid endarterectomy, aspirin even at a low dose of 75 mg daily reduces the risk of recurrence. .


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