2011 ASA/ACCF/AHA/AANN/AANS/ACR/ASNR/CNS/SAIP/ SCAI/SIR/SNIS/SVM/SVS guideline on the management of patients with extracranial carotid and vertebral artery disease: executive summary: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines, and the American Stroke Association, American Association of Neuroscience Nurses, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, American College of Radiology, American Society of Neuroradiology,
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This study aimed to monitor cognitive performance during a 3-year period in subjects with bilateral asymptomatic severe internal carotid artery stenosis and to explore the role of cerebral hemodynamics and atherosclerotic disease in the development of cognitive dysfunction.
One hundred fifty-nine subjects with bilateral asymptomatic severe internal carotid artery stenosis were included and prospectively evaluated for a 3-year period. At entry, demographics, vascular risk profile, and pharmacological treatments were defined. Cognitive status was evaluated using the Mini-Mental State Examination at baseline and at follow-up. Cerebral hemodynamics was assessed by transcranial Doppler-based breath-holding index test. As a measure of the extent of systemic atherosclerotic disease, common carotid artery intima-media thickness was measured. A cutoff for pathological values was set at 0.69 for breath-holding index and 1.0 mm for intima-media thickness.
The risk of decreasing in Mini-Mental State Examination score increased progressively from patients with bilaterally normal to those with unilaterally abnormal breath-holding index, reaching the highest probability in patients with bilaterally abnormal breath-holding index (P<0.0001). Pathological values of intima-media thickness did not influence the risk of Mini-Mental State Examination score change.
Our findings suggest that patients with asymptomatic bilateral severe internal carotid artery stenosis may be at risk of developing cognitive impairment. The evaluation of the hemodynamic status, besides providing insights about the possible mechanism behind the cognitive dysfunction present in carotid atherosclerotic disease, may be of help for the individuation of subjects deserving earlier and more aggressive treatments.
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Background and Purpose The Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy Versus Stenting Trial was completed with a low stroke and death rate. A lead-in series of patients receiving carotid artery stenting was used to select the physician-operators for the study, where performance was evaluated by complication rates and by peer review of cases. Herein, we assess the potential contribution of statistical evaluation of complication rates. Methods The ability to discriminate between stent operators who can successfully meet the published guideline of <3% combined rate of stroke and death is calculated under the binomial distribution, based on a small consecutive case series (n=24 patients). Results A criterion of 2 stroke or death events among the 24 patients (<8% event rate) was required of operators. Setting such a high criterion, however, ensures an inability to exclude operators who cannot meet the criteria. In fact, if a good operator is defined as having a 2% event rate and a poor operator as a 6% event rate, even a series of 240 patients would (on average) still exclude 5.4% of the good operators and include 4.6% of the poor operators. Conclusions The low periprocedural event rates in the trial suggest success in separating skillful operators from less skillful. However, it seems unlikely that statistical assessment of event rates in the lead-in contributed to successful selection, but rather successful selection was more likely because of peer review of subjective and other factors including patient volume and technical approaches. Clinical Trial Registration URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00004732.
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