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Initial Experience with Routine Selective Carotid Arteriography by Vascular Surgeons

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We report the results of our first 2 years of experience with routine carotid angiography with an emphasis on technique and complications. We reviewed the hospital records, office charts, and prospective quality-assurance database records of 336 patients undergoing cerebrovascular arteriograms and collected data on the indications, complications, and technical aspects of the procedures. Indications for angiography included carotid stenosis in 331 (95%) patients, subclavian steal syndrome in 9 patients, vertebrobasilar insufficiency in 6 patients, and carotid body tumor in 2 patients. Selective catheterizations were performed on 654 common carotid arteries, 63 subclavian arteries, and 63 vertebral arteries. Both common carotid arteries were not selectively catheterized in 34 (9.8%) patients. Reasons for not selecting one or both common carotid arteries included physician choice to limit contrast administration in patients with renal insufficiency in 16 cases, proximal occlusion in 4 cases, proximal stenosis thought to be at risk of embolization if instrumented in 3 cases, imaging equipment malfunction in 2 cases, and in only 9 (2.6%) cases was selective carotid catheterization attempted but unsuccessful. There were no procedure-related deaths. Complications were documented in six (1.8%) patients, including cerebrovascular accident (CVA) in 1 (0.3%) patient. One hundred forty-two (41%) patients went on to carotid endarterectomy, and we performed 16 carotid bifurcation stents during the study period. Routine selective carotid angiography is a low-risk procedure that can be performed safely by vascular surgeons with catheter/guide wire skills.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Surgery/Mercer University School of Medicine, Macon, Georgia 2: From the Macon Cardiovascular Institute 3: Georgia Heart Center/Medical Center of Central Georgia

Publication date: 01 August 2006

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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