This study was conducted to determine if carotid stenting (CS) could be safely performed in the elderly.
Age has been shown to be a predictor of neurological complications during CS. We postulated that CS could be safely performed inelderly patients if certain anatomical and clinical markers such as excessive vascular tortuosity, heavy concentric calcification of the lesion, and decreased cerebral reserve were avoided.
From July 2003 to October 2007, 142 patients aged > or =50% or asymptomatic stenosis > or =70%. All patients underwent carotid and cerebral angiography to determine anatomic suitability and stent risk. Demographic and outcome data were entered into a database; other data were obtained retrospectively. Independent neurology evaluation was performed before and at 24 hr after the procedure.
The mean age was 83.2 years, 62% were male, 25.5% were symptomatic, 8.5% had postcarotid endarterectomy restenosis, and 6.0% had contralateral internal carotid artery occlusion. There were no intracranial hemorrhages or periprocedural myocardial infarctions. One patient had amaurosis fugax. There were two minor and three major strokes in-hospital (3.3%). All patients had 30-day follow-up. One of the major strokes expired. Thus the overall 30-day stroke or death rate was 3.3% and major stroke or death rate was 2.0%. The 30-day stroke or death rate was 5.1% for symptomatic patients and 2.6% for asymptomatic patients.
CS can be performed safely in anatomically suitable elderly patients with low adverse event rates. CS should remain a revascularization option in appropriately selected elderly patients.