Safety and efficacy of carotid angioplasty and stenting for radiation-associated carotid artery stenosis

Mikel Sadek, Neal S. Cayne, Hyun J. Shin, Irene C. Turnbull, Michael L. Marin, Peter L. Faries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Introduction: Prior neck irradiation may induce atherosclerosis in the carotid artery and is considered an indication for carotid angioplasty and stenting (CAS). This study sought to evaluate the effect of neck radiation therapy (XRT) on the rate of restenosis and embolic potential in patients undergoing CAS. Methods: Two hundred ten CAS procedures were performed on 193 patients (XRT [N = 28], non-XRT [N = 182]). Mean follow-up was 347 ± 339 days (median, 305 days; range, 16-1354 days). Duplex velocity criteria for restenosis after CAS were: >50% restenosis (peak systolic velocity [PSV] > 125 cm/sec, end diastolic velocity [EDV] 40-99 cm/sec, and internal carotid artery to common carotid artery systolic ratio [ICA/CCA] > 2.0); >70% restenosis (PSV>230 cm/sec, EDV>100 cm/sec, and ICA/CCA ratio >4.0). Restenosis >70% was confirmed by digital subtraction angiography. Additional endpoints included groin hematoma, groin pseudoaneurysm, myocardial infarction, stroke, mortality, and the combined myocardial infarction/stroke/mortality rate. Captured particulate data was obtained from microporous filters used during CAS. Nineteen XRT and 128 non-XRT consecutive filters were analyzed. Photomicroscopy was performed along three axes for each filter, and the quantity and size of the captured particles were analyzed using video image analysis software. Results: There were more men (XRT: 85.7% vs. non-XRT: 52.8%, P < .001) and prior surgical neck dissections in the XRT patients (XRT: 82.1% vs. non-XRT: 4.7%, P < .001). Pre-procedural stenosis did not differ significantly betweeen the two groups (XRT: 86.5% ± 8.9% [range, 70%-99%] vs. non-XRT: 85.5% ± 8.7% [range 70%-99%], P = NS). Perioperative outcomes, including the composite 30 day stroke/myocardial infarction/mortality rate did not differ significantly between the two groups (XRT: 0% vs. non-XRT: 3.2%, P = NS). Twelve-month freedom from restenosis rates did not differ significantly at the 50% threshold (XRT: 95.5% vs. non-XRT: 90.3%, P = NS) or at the 70% threshold (XRT: 95.5% vs. non-XRT: 96.5%, P = NS). Target lesion revascularization did not differ significantly (XRT: 0% vs. non-XRT: 0.5%, P = NS). Photomicroscopy demonstrated a trend towards increased particle number and size in the XRT filters, however the results did not achieve statistical significance: particle number (XRT: 9.8 ± 8.4 vs. non-XRT: 9.6 ± 11.7, P = NS), %patients with particle size >1000 μm (XRT: 47.4% vs. non-XRT: 30.5%, P = NS). Conclusions: This study suggests that the durability of CAS and the characteristics of captured embolic particles are not altered by a history of neck XRT. This supports the safety and efficacy of CAS for the treatment of patients with a history of neck XRT. Prior neck XRT may predispose the patient to the de novo development of stenoses at locations that were not previously treated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1308-1313
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2009


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