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Addition of Carotid Endarterectomy to Supra-Aortic Trunk Surgical Reconstruction Does Not Increase Risk
Linda J. Wang, MD, MBA, Sarah C. Crofts, Thomas P. Nixon, David C. Chang, PhD, MBA, MPH, Mark F. Conrad, MD, MMSc, Matthew Eagleton, MD, W. Darrin Clouse, MD.
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Objectives: Some patients requiring open supra-aortic trunk reconstruction (SAT) have significant carotid artery stenosis. The addition of carotid endarterectomy (CEA) to SAT has been described. Yet, additive risks are not well defined and controversy remains as to whether concomitant CEA increases stroke risk. This study assessed the perioperative effects of adding CEA to SAT.
Methods: Using the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, patients who underwent SAT from 2005-2015 were evaluated. CEA+SAT were identified. An isolated SAT cohort (ISAT) was created by removing patients who underwent concurrent secondary procedures. Non-occlusive indications were excluded. CEA+SAT were compared with ISAT as well as a propensity-matched ISAT cohort. Primary outcomes were 30-day stroke, death, and composite stroke/death/myocardial infarction (SDM). Univariate and logistic regression analyses were performed.
Results: After review, 1,515 patients were identified: 1,245 (82%) ISAT and 270 (18%) CEA+SAT. Most were female (56%), 86% were Caucasian, and 24% were symptomatic. Average age was 6512 years and CEA+SAT were older (69 vs 64 years, p<.001). CEA+SAT were more likely to be male (53% vs 42%, p<.001), have hypertension (86% vs 75%, p<.001), and have diabetes (26% vs 20%, p=.04). SAT procedures included: carotid-carotid bypass (16%), carotid-subclavian bypass (68%), carotid-subclavian transposition (7%), and aorta to great vessel bypass (9%). ISAT were more likely to undergo carotid-subclavian bypass than CEA+SAT (71% vs 54%, p<.001). Overall stroke was 2.3%, death 1.4%, and SDM 4.6%. There were no differences in 30-day stroke (ISAT 2.0% vs CEA+SAT 3.7%, p=.09) or mortality (1.4% vs 1.5%, p=.88). CEA+SAT had higher rates of SDM (7% vs 4%, p=.03). On logistic regression, urgency was a predictor of SDM (OR 3.6, 95%CI 1.5-8.4, p=.003); addition of CEA was not predictive of stroke (OR 1.4, 95%CI 0.5-4.2, p=.52) or SDM (OR 1.5, 95%CI 0.6-3.6, p=.40). After propensity matching, there were no longer differences in demographics or primary endpoints between the two cohorts.
Conclusions: Addition of CEA does not confer increased perioperative stroke or SDM risk over isolated SAT. Perioperative outcomes appear to be more affected by disseminated disease risk factors than the addition of CEA. In patients undergoing SAT, it is reasonable to consider performing combined CEA in populations with tandem carotid bifurcation disease and appropriate operative risk profile.


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