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American Stroke Association Late-Breaking Science Report: Surgery, Stenting to Open Blocked Neck Arteries Similar in Safety, Efficacy, But Show Differences in Stroke, Heart Attack and Death Rates at Certain Ages
Date:2/26/2010

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In endarterectomy, a surgeon cuts into the artery and carefully removes the obstructing plaque from the vessel wall.  Surgeons have relied on endarterectomy for a half century to open narrowed carotid (neck) arteries.  In stenting, which has been used for about 15 years, a balloon catheter is inserted into the artery to open it, and a metal mesh tube is left in place to keep the vessel open.

"We found that the two procedures were similar with regard to the study's primary endpoint —overall incidence of stroke, heart attack and death," said Thomas G. Brott, M.D., lead author of the study and professor of neurology and director for research at the Mayo Clinic campus in Jacksonville, Fla.  "We also found that the rates of these events were low, and that safety for patients with and without symptoms was as good as any reported in any randomized carotid intervention trial."  

Initial findings from CREST came from a median follow-up of about two-and-a-half years.  Some patients have been followed for up to a total of four years.

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SOURCE American Stroke Association
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