Restenosis after carotid endarterectomy


Dr T. S. Padayachee, Ultrasonic Angiology Department, 2nd Floor, New Guy's House, Guy's Hospital, London SE1 9RT, UK


Multiple randomised trials over the last decade for both symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid stenosis have proven the efficacy of carotid endarterectomy (CE) in reducing the risk of stroke. The long-term patency of the carotid artery after CE is an important factor in the success of the operation.

The incidence of recurrent carotid stenosis (excluding residual lesions) ranges from 1 to 37% with only 0–8% of patients having restenosis-related symptoms (1). Generally, recurrent carotid stenosis is attributed to myointimal hyperplasia during the early postoperative period (within 3 years) or recurrent atherosclerosis thereafter.

The management of recurrent carotid stenosis after CE remains a dilemma. It is generally accepted that operation for significant recurrent carotid stenosis is indicated for symptomatic patients, and several authors also recommend CE for >80% asymptomatic recurrent stenosis. Treatment of recurrent carotid stenosis involves repeat endarterectomy with patch angioplasty, although more recently endovascular techniques have been used.