A short time interval between the neurologic index event and carotid endarterectomy is not a risk factor for carotid surgery.
Current guidelines recommend that carotid endarterectomy (CEA) be performed as early as possible after the neurologic index event in patients with 50% to 99% carotid artery stenosis. However, recent registry data showed that patients treated<=48 hours had a significantly increased perioperative risk. Therefore, the aim of this single-center study was to determine the effect of the time interval between the neurologic index event and CEA on the periprocedural complication rate at our institution.Prospectively collected data for 401 CEAs performed between 2004 and 2014 for symptomatic carotid stenosis were analyzed. Patients were divided into four groups according to the interval between the last neurologic event and surgery: group I, 0 to 2 days; group II, 3 to 7 days; group III, 8 to 14 days; and group IV, 15 to 180 days. The primary end point was the combined rate of in-hospital stroke or mortality. Data were analyzed by way of ?(2) tests and multivariable regression analysis.The patients (68% men) had a median age of 70 years (interquartile range, 63-76 years). The index events included transient ischemic attack in 43.4%, amaurosis fugax in 25.4%, and an ipsilateral stroke in 31.2%. CEA was performed using the eversion technique in 61.1% of patients, and 50.1% were treated under locoregional anesthesia. The perioperative combined stroke and mortality rate was 2.5% (10 of 401), representing a perioperative mortality rate of 1.0% and stroke rate of 1.5%. Overall, myocardial infarction, cranial nerve injuries, and postoperative bleeding occurred in 0.7%, 2.2%, and 1.7%, respectively. We detected no significant differences for the combined stroke and mortality rate by time interval: 3% in group I, 3% in group II, 2% in group III, and 2% in group IV. Multivariable regression analysis showed no significant effect of the time interval on the primary end point.The combined mortality and stroke rate was 2.5% and did not differ significantly between the four different time interval groups. CEA was safe in our cohort, even when performed as soon as possible after the index event.