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.
- Asymptomatic carotid stenosis
- Carotid endarterectomy
- Endovascular treatment
- Health policy
- Stroke prevention