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Endarterectomy for Stenosis of Less Than 50% Without Symptoms

Research shows that there is no benefit to having endarterectomy if you have less than 50% stenosis (narrowing) and no symptoms, such as a previous TIA or mild stroke.1 People in this group do not benefit from endarterectomy. They actually increase their risk of stroke or death from surgery because of complications of the procedure. For people with less than 50% stenosis who do not have symptoms, the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recommend treatment with medicine and lifestyle changes.2

This group is already at a lower risk for stroke than those with a higher degree of stenosis. So having surgery would not likely further reduce that risk. It would instead introduce new risks linked with surgery.


  1. North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial Collaborators (1991). Beneficial effect of carotid endarterectomy in symptomatic patients with high-grade carotid stenosis. New England Journal of Medicine, 325(7): 445-453.

  2. Kernan WN, et al. (2014). Guidelines for the prevention of stroke in patients with stroke and transient ischemic attack: A guideline for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke, 45(7): 2160-2236. DOI: 10.1161/STR.0000000000000024. Accessed July 22, 2014.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerKarin M. Lindholm, DO - Neurology

Current as ofAugust 6, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 06, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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