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 and 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 guidelines recommend treatment with
Since this group is
already at a lower risk for stroke than those with a higher degree of stenosis,
surgery would not likely further reduce that risk but would instead introduce
new risks associated with surgery.
It's the news you don't want to hear from your cardiologist: One or more of your coronary arteries -- the blood vessels that supply blood to your heart -- is blocked. You have coronary artery disease, the No. 1 killer of U.S. adults.
So does this mean you're headed for bypass surgery? Maybe not, if your situation isn't an emergency.
You might have other options -- including less drastic procedures to reopen those arteries, medication alone, or even radical lifestyle change.
What's your best option?...
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.
Biller J, et al. (1998). Guidelines for carotid
endarterectomy: A statement for healthcare professionals from a special writing
group of the Stroke Council of the American Heart Association. Circulation, 97(5): 501-509.
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Richard D. Zorowitz, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
January 7, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
January 07, 2011
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