Medical (nonsurgical) intervention alone is now best for prevention of stroke associated with asymptomatic severe carotid stenosis: Results of a systematic review and analysis

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Significant advances in vascular disease medical intervention since large randomized trials for asymptomatic severe carotid stenosis were conducted (1983-2003) have prompted doubt over current expectations of a surgical benefit. In this systematic review and analysis of published data it was found that rates of ipsilateral and any-territory stroke (+/-TIA), with medical intervention alone, have fallen significantly since the mid-1980s, with recent estimates overlapping those of operated patients in randomized trials. However, current medical intervention alone was estimated at least 3 to 8 times more cost-effective. In Conclusion, current vascular disease medical intervention alone is now best for stroke prevention associated with asymptomatic severe carotid stenosis given this new evidence, other cardiovascular benefits, and because high-risk patients who benefit from additional carotid surgery or angioplasty/stenting cannot be identified.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Asymptomatic carotid stenosis
  • Carotid endarterectomy
  • Endovascular treatment
  • Health policy
  • Stroke prevention

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