Background and Purpose—
Stroke development is a major concern in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Whether asymptomatic severe carotid artery stenosis (CAS) contributes to the development of stroke and mortality in such patients remains uncertain.
A retrospective analysis of 878 consecutive patients with documented carotid duplex ultrasound who underwent isolated CABG in our institution from January 2003 to December 2009 was performed. Patients with severe CAS (n=117) were compared with those without severe CAS (n=761) to assess the rates of stroke and mortality during hospitalization for CABG. The 30-day mortality rate was also assessed.
Patients with severe CAS were older and had a higher prevalence of peripheral arterial disease and heart failure. Patients with severe CAS had similar rates of in-hospital stroke (3.4% versus 3.6%; P=1.0) and mortality (3.4% versus 4.2%; P=1.0) compared with patients without severe CAS. The 30-day rate of mortality was also similar between the 2 cohorts (3.4% versus 2.9%; P=0.51).
Severe CAS alone is not a risk factor for stroke or mortality in patients undergoing CABG. The decision to perform carotid imaging and subsequent revascularization in association with CABG must be individualized and based on clinical judgment.
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