Durability of Eversion Carotid Endarterectomy: Comparison With Primary Closure and Carotid Patch Angioplasty

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OBJECTIVES: Despite numerous studies in which various methods for arteriotomy closure after carotid endarterectomy (CEA) have been addressed, the optimum surgical technique to reduce complications and late carotid restenosis has yet to be firmly established. The purpose of this study was to prospectively compare the results of the eversion CEA technique with those of conventional CEA with either primary closure or carotid patch angioplasty, and to determine under clinical conditions whether eversion CEA influences the results and restenosis rate. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Over a 3-year period, 322 CEAs performed on 296 consecutive patients were concurrently evaluated. This study included 118 eversion CEAs, 97 CEAs with primary closure, and 107 CEAs with patch angioplasty. There were no differences in demographics, in surgical indications, or in the severity of carotid disease (not significant [NS]). The choice of CEA technique was not randomized because of technical considerations and surgeon preference. After entry into the protocol, no patients were excluded or withdrawn. Carotid restenosis was defined as a > 60% lumen reduction at the CEA site with established duplex ultrasonography criteria. RESULTS: The mean operative time for eversion CEA was 31 minutes, for CEA-primary closure it was 39 minutes, and for CEA-patch angioplasty it was 46 minutes (P <.01). The operative mortality rate for eversion CEA was 0.8% (1 patient), for CEA-primary closure it was 1.0% (1 patient), and for CEA-patch angioplasty it was 2.8% (3 patients) (NS). The postoperative stroke rate was 0.8% after eversion CEA, 1.0% after CEA-primary closure, and 2.8% after CEA-patch angioplasty (NS). The combined stroke and death rate in each group was thus 0.8% for eversion CEA (1 stroke-death), 1% for CEA with primary closure (1 stroke-death), and 5% for CEA with patch angioplasty (1 stroke-death, 2 fatal myocardial infarctions, and 2 nonfatal strokes) (NS). Transient ischemic attacks occurred in 2.5% after eversion CEA, in 5.2% after CEA-primary closure, and in 2.9% with CEA-patch angioplasty (NS). The mean clinical follow-up for all three groups was 23 months (range, 6-42 months) (NS). The restenosis rate was 1.7% after eversion CEA, 9.3% after CEA-primary closure, and 6.5% after CEA-patch angioplasty (P <.05). CONCLUSIONS: This prospective, nonrandomized clinical study indicates that eversion CEA is an effective surgical option comparable to conventional CEA with either primary arteriotomy closure or carotid patch angioplasty. No differences were found between eversion CEA and these more widely accepted CEA closure techniques with respect to operative morbidity and mortality. These data indicate, however, that eversion CEA has a lower restenosis rate than conventional CEA closure techniques and thus superior long-term durability.