This study states that Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) is a proven intervention for stroke risk reduction in symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. High-risk patients are often offered carotid stenting to minimize the risk and optimize the outcomes. As a referral center for high-risk patients, we evaluated and analyzed our experience with high-risk CEA patients.

We retrospectively reviewed consecutive patients who had undergone CEA at a tertiary referral center. The demographics, indications for surgery, physiologic and anatomic risk factors, intraoperative surgical management, perioperative complications, morbidity, and mortality were analyzed. The high-risk physiologic factors identified included an ejection fraction <30%, positive preoperative stress test results, and compromised pulmonary function test results. The high-risk patients included those requiring home oxygen, those with a partial pressure of oxygen of <60 mm Hg, and patients with a forced expiratory volume in 1 second of <30%. The high-risk anatomic factors identified included previous head and/or neck radiation, a history of ipsilateral neck surgery, contralateral nerve palsy, redo CEA, previous ipsilateral stenting, contralateral occlusion, contralateral CEA, nasotracheal intubation, and digastric muscle division.

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