To investigate the time between cerebrovascular symptom and carotid endarterectomy (CEA), what prolongs this time and if and when the patients suffer additional cerebrovascular events.
Single Centre study at a specialized Stroke Centre.
A total of 275 patients with > or =50% symptomatic carotid stenosis (according to the NASCET-criteria) between 1 January 2004 and 31 March 2006.
Time between cerebrovascular symptom and CEA, time between different parts of the investigation, additional cerebrovascular symptoms before CEA and as perioperative complication.
A total of 128 patients underwent CEA. The median time between symptom and CEA was 11.7 weeks in the beginning and 6.9 weeks at the end of the study. Seven per cent were operated within 2 weeks and 11% between 2 and 4 weeks after their cerebrovascular symptom. The time delays were most pronounced between symptom onset and arrival at the Umeå Stroke Centre from the secondary hospitals and between the decision to recommend CEA and the CEA. Twenty-eight per cent of the patients who were intended for surgery suffered additional cerebrovascular events, 1.4% suffered a major stroke which excluded the indication of CEA and 3.0% of the CEA patients suffered a stroke with functional dependence within 30 days of the operation.
The delay between symptom and CEA was substantially longer than the desired 2 weeks. Many patients suffered additional cerebrovascular events before CEA. The risk of a severe additional stroke before CEA was about the same as the risk of a severe complication from the CEA.