eISSN: 1897-4295
ISSN: 1734-9338
Advances in Interventional Cardiology/Postępy w Kardiologii Interwencyjnej
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vol. 13
Review paper

One swallow does not a summer make but many swallows do: accumulating clinical evidence for nearly-eliminated peri-procedural and 30-day complications with mesh-covered stents transforms the carotid revascularisation field

Piotr Musiałek
L. Nelson Hopkins
Adnan H. Siddiqui

Adv Interv Cardiol 2017; 13, 2 (48): 95–106
Online publish date: 2017/07/19
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Atherosclerotic carotid artery stenosis (CS) continues to be a common cause of acute ischaemic stroke. Optimised medical therapy (OMT), the first-line treatment modality in CS, may reduce or delay – but it does not abolish – CS-related strokes. As per current AHA/ASA and ESC/ESVS/ESO guidelines, carotid artery stenting (CAS) is a less-invasive alternative to carotid endarterectomy (CEA) for CS revascularisation in primary and secondary stroke prevention.

Ten-year follow-up from the CREST trial in patients with symptomatic and asymptomatic CS confirmed equipoise of CAS and CEA in the primary endpoint. Nevertheless CAS – using a widely open-cell, first-generation stent and first-generation (distal/filter) neuroprotection – has been criticised for its relative excess of (mostly minor) strokes by 30 days, a significant proportion of which were post-procedural.

Atherosclerotic plaque protrusion through conventional carotid stent struts, confirmed on intravascular imaging, has been implicated as a leading mechanism of the relative excess of strokes with CAS vs. CEA, including delayed strokes with CAS. Different designs of mesh-covered carotid stents have been developed to prevent plaque prolapse. Several multi-centre/multi-specialty clinical studies with CGurad MicroNet-Covered Embolic Prevention Stent System (EPS) and RoadSaver/Casper were recently published and included routine DW-MRI cerebral imaging peri-procedurally and at 30 days (CGuard EPS).

Data from more than 550 patients in mesh-covered carotid stent clinical studies to-date show an overall 30-day complication rate of ~1% with near-elimination of post-procedural events. While more (and long-term) evidence is still anticipated, these results – taken together with optimised intra-procedural neuroprotection in CAS (increased use of proximal systems including trans-carotid dynamic flow reversal) and the positive 12-month mesh-covered stent data reports in 2017 – are transforming the carotid revascularisation field today.

Establishing effective algorithms to identify the asymptomatic subjects at stroke risk despite OMT, and large-scale studies with mesh-covered stents including long-term clinical and duplex ultrasound outcomes, are the next major goals.

carotid artery stenting, mesh, stroke, endarterectomy, neuroprotection

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