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      Temporal Changes in the External Validity of Clinical Trials: Asymptomatic Carotid Artery Stenosis


      Cerebrovascular Diseases

      S. Karger AG

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          Most cited references 16

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          Prevention of disabling and fatal strokes by successful carotid endarterectomy in patients without recent neurological symptoms: randomised controlled trial.

          Among patients with substantial carotid artery narrowing but no recent neurological symptom (stroke or transient ischaemia), the balance of surgical risks and long-term benefits from carotid endarterectomy (CEA) was unclear. During 1993-2003, 3120 asymptomatic patients with substantial carotid narrowing were randomised equally between immediate CEA (half got CEA by 1 month, 88% by 1 year) and indefinite deferral of any CEA (only 4% per year got CEA) and were followed for up to 5 years (mean 3.4 years). Kaplan-Meier analyses of 5-year risks are by allocated treatment. The risk of stroke or death within 30 days of CEA was 3.1% (95% CI 2.3-4.1). Comparing all patients allocated immediate CEA versus all allocated deferral, but excluding such perioperative events, the 5-year stroke risks were 3.8% versus 11% (gain 7.2% [95% CI 5.0-9.4], p<0.0001). This gain chiefly involved carotid territory ischaemic strokes (2.7% vs 9.5%; gain 6.8% [4.8-8.8], p<0.0001), of which half were disabling or fatal (1.6% vs 5.3%; gain 3.7% [2.1-5.2], p<0.0001), as were half the perioperative strokes. Combining the perioperative events and the non-perioperative strokes, net 5-year risks were 6.4% versus 11.8% for all strokes (net gain 5.4% [3.0-7.8], p<0.0001), 3.5% versus 6.1% for fatal or disabling strokes (net gain 2.5% [0.8-4.3], p=0.004), and 2.1% versus 4.2% just for fatal strokes (net gain 2.1% [0.6-3.6], p=0.006). Subgroup-specific analyses found no significant heterogeneity in the perioperative hazards or (apart from the importance of cholesterol) in the long-term postoperative benefits. These benefits were separately significant for males and females; for those with about 70%, 80%, and 90% carotid artery narrowing on ultrasound; and for those younger than 65 and 65-74 years of age (though not for older patients, half of whom die within 5 years from unrelated causes). Full compliance with allocation to immediate CEA or deferral would, in expectation, have produced slightly bigger differences in the numbers operated on, and hence in the net 5-year benefits. The 10-year benefits are not yet known. In asymptomatic patients younger than 75 years of age with carotid diameter reduction about 70% or more on ultrasound (many of whom were on aspirin, antihypertensive, and, in recent years, statin therapy), immediate CEA halved the net 5-year stroke risk from about 12% to about 6% (including the 3% perioperative hazard). Half this 5-year benefit involved disabling or fatal strokes. But, outside trials, inappropriate selection of patients or poor surgery could obviate such benefits.
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            Primary prevention of ischemic stroke: a guideline from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Stroke Council: cosponsored by the Atherosclerotic Peripheral Vascular Disease Interdisciplinary Working Group; Cardiovascular Nursing Council; Clinical Cardiology Council; Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism Council; and the Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Interdisciplinary Working Group: the American Academy of Neurology affirms the value of this guideline.

             ,  Robert Adams,  S Nixon (2006)
            This guideline provides an overview of the evidence on various established and potential stroke risk factors and provides recommendations for the reduction of stroke risk. Writing group members were nominated by the committee chair on the basis of each writer's previous work in relevant topic areas and were approved by the American Heart Association Stroke Council's Scientific Statement Oversight Committee. The writers used systematic literature reviews (covering the time period since the last review published in 2001 up to January 2005), reference to previously published guidelines, personal files, and expert opinion to summarize existing evidence, indicate gaps in current knowledge, and when appropriate, formulate recommendations based on standard American Heart Association criteria. All members of the writing group had numerous opportunities to comment in writing on the recommendations and approved the final version of this document. The guideline underwent extensive peer review before consideration and approval by the AHA Science Advisory and Coordinating Committee. Schemes for assessing a person's risk of a first stroke were evaluated. Risk factors or risk markers for a first stroke were classified according to their potential for modification (nonmodifiable, modifiable, or potentially modifiable) and strength of evidence (well documented or less well documented). Nonmodifiable risk factors include age, sex, low birth weight, race/ethnicity, and genetic factors. Well-documented and modifiable risk factors include hypertension, exposure to cigarette smoke, diabetes, atrial fibrillation and certain other cardiac conditions, dyslipidemia, carotid artery stenosis, sickle cell disease, postmenopausal hormone therapy, poor diet, physical inactivity, and obesity and body fat distribution. Less well-documented or potentially modifiable risk factors include the metabolic syndrome, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, oral contraceptive use, sleep-disordered breathing, migraine headache, hyperhomocysteinemia, elevated lipoprotein(a), elevated lipoprotein-associated phospholipase, hypercoagulability, inflammation, and infection. Data on the use of aspirin for primary stroke prevention are reviewed. Extensive evidence is available identifying a variety of specific factors that increase the risk of a first stroke and providing strategies for reducing that risk.
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              Endarterectomy for Asymptomatic Carotid Artery Stenosis


                Author and article information

                Cerebrovasc Dis
                Cerebrovascular Diseases
                S. Karger AG
                November 2014
                09 October 2014
                : 38
                : 3
                : 174-175
                Department of Neurology, Duke Stroke Center, Duke University Medical Center, and Durham VA Medical Center, Durham, N.C., USA
                Author notes
                *Larry B. Goldstein, MD, FAAN, FANA, FAHA, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3651, Durham, NC 27710 (USA), E-Mail
                365424 Cerebrovasc Dis 2014;38:174-175
                © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 1, Pages: 2


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