Anesthesia type determines risk of cerebral infarction after carotid endarterectomy.J Vasc Surg. 2019 07; 70(1):138-147.JV
Silent and symptomatic cerebral infarctions occur in up to 34% of patients after carotid endarterectomy (CEA). This prospective study compared the risk of new brain infarctions detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in patients with internal carotid artery stenosis undergoing CEA with local anesthesia (LA) vs general anesthesia (GA).
Consecutive patients with internal carotid artery stenosis indicated for CEA were screened at two centers. Patients without contraindication to LA or GA were randomly allocated to the LA or GA group by ZIP code randomization. Brain MRI was performed before and 24 hours after CEA. Neurologic examination was performed before and 24 hours and 30 days after surgery. The occurrence of new infarctions on the control magnetic resonance images, stroke, transient ischemic attack, and other complications was statistically evaluated.
Of 210 randomized patients, 105 underwent CEA with LA (67 men; mean age, 68.3 ± 8.1 years) and 105 with GA (70 men; mean age, 63.4 ± 7.5 years). New infarctions were more frequently detected on control magnetic resonance images in patients after CEA under GA compared with LA (17.1% vs 6.7%; P = .031). Stroke or transient ischemic attack occurred within 30 days of CEA in three patients under GA and in two under LA (P = 1.000). There were no significant differences between the two types of anesthesia in terms of the occurrence of other complications (14.3% for GA and 21.0% for LA; P = .277).
The risk of silent brain infarction after CEA as detected by MRI is higher under GA than under LA.