What are the benefits of carotid endarterectomy for people with symptomatic carotid stenosis?
Carotid stenosis is a narrowing of the carotid arteries caused by atherosclerosis, the formation of plaque or fatty deposits on the artery walls.1 The buildup of plaque reduces blood flow to the brain and can lead to an embolus and potentially to an ischemic stroke.2
Most patients with carotid stenosis are asymptomatic until the artery becomes severely narrowed or a clot forms. Common first symptoms are related to a transient ischemic attack resulting from a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain, which subsequently returns to normal. The symptoms are similar to those of stroke and include weakness or numbness on one side of the body, aphasia, facial droop, and diplopia and other vision impairments.3
The risk of a stroke resulting from severe carotid stenosis warrants evaluation of all treatment options, with a...