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Research sheds light on carotid artery stenting risk in elderly
Date:11/1/2007

New Orleans, LA Dr. Hernan Bazan, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Section of Vascular Surgery, at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine, is the lead author of a research paper which may help physicians decide which patients with carotid artery occlusive disease should have carotid surgery or carotid stenting. The research sheds light on characteristics of the aortic arch that could help explain why octogenarians, patients over the age of 80 years, have a higher risk of embolization and stroke during carotid artery stenting (CAS), an artery expanding procedure promoting blood flow done to prevent stroke, and how early identification may allow planning of alternative techniques to reduce risk. Increased aortic calcification in patients older than 75 years: Implications for carotid artery stenting in elderly patients is published in the November 2007 issue of the Journal of Vascular Surgery.

We hypothesized that elderly patients have more heavily calcified arches than younger patients, noted Dr. Bazan. It is possible that heavily calcified aortic arches could be a source of increased embolization during wire manipulation and catheter exchanges at some stage in carotid artery stenting. We also sought to define what the arches look like or what their morphology is and found that in patients over the age of 75 years, there was a dramatic increase in calcium content and more complex aortic arches.

The research team analyzed the calcium content and aortic arch type in a consecutive series of patients undergoing thoracic computed tomography (CT) scans to determine whether aortic arch calcium content is related to either age or arch type classification. (The aortic arch is the bend between the ascending and descending aorta sections from which the carotid arteries branch.) Patients under 40 or those who had recently undergone thoracic aortic or cardiac valve surgery were excluded. The CT scans of 94 patients we
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Contact: Leslie Capo
lcapo@lsuhsc.edu
504-452-9166
Louisiana State University Health Science Center
Source:Eurekalert

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