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Title: Hearts and minds.
Authors: Naylor, AR
First Published: Jan-2012
Citation: EUR J VASC ENDOVASC SURG, 2012, 43 (1), pp. 1-3
Abstract: The American Heart Association liberalised guidelines for carotid stenting (CAS) into average risk patients based on the following interpretations and assumptions; (i) CAS doubles the risk of procedural stroke; (ii) CEA doubles the risk of procedural myocardial infarction (MI); (iii) peri-operative MI significantly reduces long-term survival; (iv) poorer long-term survival is attributable to a greater proportion of CEA patients dying after their peri-operative MI. (v) reduced survival in CEA patients suffering a peri-operative MI offsets any benefit conferred by the lower procedural stroke risk so that; (vi) CAS is considered equivalent to CEA and may even be safer in those considered high risk for procedural MI. However, this much publicised rationale is flawed by the simple fact that the poorer survival rates observed in CREST were not attributable to a greater proportion of CEA patients dying following their procedural MI. In fact, a relatively higher proportion of CAS patients suffering a peri-operative MI died during follow-up. This observation changes how the literature should be interpreted. The clinical reality is that up to 10% of patients will suffer a stroke within seven days of their index TIA and the benefits of intervening in the hyperacute period after onset of symptoms (ie offering greater stroke prevention) will far outweigh any potential consequences of peri-operative MI and reduced life expectancy. Peri-operative MI should inform, but not drive the current debate. More importantly, it should not deflect attention away from the most important management priority; the prevention of stroke. This is one situation where the heart should not rule the head!
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2011.10.016
eISSN: 1532-2165
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Cardiovascular Sciences

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