The latest guidelines recommend performance of carotid endarterectomy (CEA) on asymptomatic patients with high-grade carotid stenosis, only if the combined perioperative stroke, myocardial infarction (MI), or death risk is ≤3%. Our objective was to develop and validate a risk index to estimate the combined risk of perioperative stroke, MI, or death in asymptomatic patients undergoing elective CEA.
Asymptomatic patients who underwent an elective CEA (n = 17,692) were identified from the 2005-2010 National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, a multicenter, prospective database. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed with primary outcome of interest being the composite of any stroke, MI, or death during the 30-day periprocedural period. Bootstrapping was used for internal validation. A risk index was created by assigning weighted points to each predictor using the β-coefficients from the regression analysis.
Fifty-eight percent of the patients were men with a median age of 72 years. Thirty-day incidences of stroke, MI, and death were 0.9% (n = 167), 0.6% (n = 108), and 0.4% (n = 72), respectively. The combined 30-day stroke, MI, or death incidence was 1.8% (n = 324). On multivariable analysis, six independent predictors were identified and a risk index created by assigning weighted points to each predictor using the β-coefficients from the regression analysis. The predictors included age in years (<60: 0 point; 60-69: −1 point; 70-79: −1 point; ≥80: 2 points), dyspnea (2 points), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (3 points), previous peripheral revascularization or amputation (3 points), recent angina within 1 month (4 points), and dependent functional status (5 points). Patients were classified as low (<3%), intermediate (3%-6%), or high (>6%) risk for combined 30-day stroke, MI, or death, based on a total point score of <4, 4-7, and >7, respectively. There were 15,249 patients (86.2%) in the low-risk category, 2233 (12.6%) in the intermediate-risk category, and 210 (1.2%) in the high-risk category.
The validated risk index can help identify asymptomatic patients who are at greatest risk for 30-day stroke, MI, and death after CEA, thereby aiding patient selection.