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      The role of carotid screening before coronary artery bypass.

      Journal of Vascular Surgery

      Aged, Carotid Arteries, surgery, ultrasonography, Carotid Artery Diseases, epidemiology, mortality, Cerebrovascular Disorders, prevention & control, Coronary Artery Bypass, Endarterectomy, Eye, blood supply, Female, Humans, Incidence, Male, Middle Aged, Plethysmography, methods, Postoperative Complications, Preoperative Care, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors

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          Five hundred thirty-nine patients with no symptoms of cerebral ischemia undergoing coronary artery bypass were preoperatively evaluated for presence of carotid stenosis by noninvasive methods (duplex scanning and ocular pneumoplethysmography-Gee). Overall prevalence of carotid stenosis greater than 75% was higher (8.7%) than that generally reported. Age greater than 60 years was significantly related to presence of carotid stenosis greater than 75% (11.3% vs 3.8%, p = 0.003). Risk factors such as hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and smoking were not predictive for carotid stenosis, postoperative stroke, or death. Carotid stenosis greater than 75% (odds ratio 9.87, p less than 0.005) and coronary artery bypass redo (odds ratio 5.26, p less than 0.05) were both independent predictors of stroke risk. Patients were divided into four groups: group 1, minimal or mild degree of carotid stenosis (less than 50%), not submitted to prophylactic carotid endarterectomy (432 patients, 80.1%); group 2, moderate degree of stenosis (50% to 75%), no prophylactic carotid endarterectomy (60 patients, 11.2%); group 3, severe carotid stenosis; (greater than 75%), submitted to prophylactic carotid endarterectomy (19 patients, 3.5%), group 4, severe carotid stenosis (greater than 75%) no prophylactic carotid endarterectomy (28 patients, 5.2%). Patients in group 4 had significantly higher stroke rate (14.3%) compared to the other three groups (1.1%) (p = 0.0019). The finding of carotid stenosis greater than 75% in patients over 60 years of age was associated with occurrence of stroke in 15% of cases. Carotid screening is helpful to determine patients at increased risk of stroke and should be performed in patients greater than 60 years.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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