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Time delay between symptom and surgery in patients with carotid artery stenosis

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Andgren S, Sjöberg L, Norrving B, Lindgren A. Time delay between symptom and surgery in patients with carotid artery stenosis. Acta Neurol Scand: 2011: 124: 329–333. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Objectives –  Many severe strokes are preceded by warning signs such as a transient ischemic attack or stroke with minor deficits. Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) of a symptomatic carotid artery stenosis can prevent future strokes, but should be performed within 2 weeks after the initial symptom to maximize the benefit. The aim of this study was to determine the time delays between symptom and CEA.

Methods –  We performed a single center observational retrospective study at a tertiary stroke center. A total of 142 carotids in 139 patients with symptomatic stenoses between 2002 and 2006 were included. The main outcome measure was time between qualifying cerebrovascular symptom and CEA.

Results –  The median time between symptom and CEA was 26 days. The longest delays were between the last diagnostic examination and carotid conference, and between carotid conference and surgery. The median time was shorter for those who received emergency medical care (median 21 days) and for those who were admitted immediately to hospital (median 20 days).

Conclusions –  The time between symptom and surgery is often longer than desirable. There are several measures to improve the chain of procedures for patients with carotid artery stenosis. These may include omitting the formal carotid conference for uncomplicated cases and minimizing waiting time for surgery.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Internal Medicine, Helsingborg Hospital, Helsingborg, Sweden 2: Department of Surgery, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden

Publication date: 2011-11-01

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