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Research shows that endarterectomy is not more effective than treatment with medicine for people who have symptoms, such as a previous TIA or mild stroke, but less than 50% stenosis (narrowing).1 In some cases surgery may be harmful—the procedure itself may result in more problems than benefits.
The American Heart Association guidelines recommend that these people continue treatment with medicine.2
- Rerkasem K, Rothwell PM (2011). Carotid endarterectomy for symptomatic carotid stenosis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (4).
- Biller J, et al. (1998). Guidelines for carotid endarterectomy: A statement for healthcare professionals from a special writing group of the Stroke Council, American Heart Association. Circulation, 97(5): 501–509. Also available online: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/97/5/501.full.
Last Revised: January 3, 2013
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