Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

INTRODUCTION: Understanding the pathophysiological mechanism of procedural stroke during carotid intervention may help reduce the risk of stroke in those undergoing surgery. We therefore studied the features of procedural strokes within the first Asymptomatic Carotid Surgery Trial-1 (ACST-1) to identify the underlying pathophysiological mechanism. METHODS: In ACST-1, 3,120 patients with severe asymptomatic carotid stenosis thought suitable for surgery were randomized to CEA or indefinite deferral of surgery. Information on procedural (within 30 days) stroke type, laterality, severity and timing was collected. Eight possible mechanisms were defined: embolism from the carotid artery, haemodynamic, thrombosis or occlusion of the carotid artery, hyperperfusion syndrome, cardioembolic, either carotid embolic or haemodynamic, either carotid embolic or thrombotic occlusion, or undetermined. RESULTS: Procedural strokes occurred in 53 patients (2.7%). Strokes were predominantly ischaemic (n = 43; 81%), ipsilateral to the treated artery (n = 42; 79%), often occurred on the day of the operation (n = 32; 60%) and in over half the patients, were disabling or fatal (n = 27; 51%). The identified stroke mechanism was carotid embolic (n = 7), haemodynamic (n = 5), thrombosis or occlusion of the carotid artery (n = 9), hyperperfusion (n = 7), cardioembolic (n = 3), 'probably carotid embolic or haemodynamic' (n = 7), 'probably carotid embolic or thrombotic occlusion' (n = 3) and undetermined in 12 cases. CONCLUSION: In ACST-1, the risk of procedural stroke was low. Most strokes (60%) occurred on the day of the procedure and were caused by thrombosis or thrombotic occlusion of the ipsilateral carotid artery. These findings emphasize the importance of immediate assessment of the treated carotid artery when a stroke occurs after CEA.

Original publication




Journal article


Cerebrovasc Dis

Publication Date





178 - 185


Asymptomatic Diseases, Carotid Stenosis, Cerebrovascular Circulation, Endarterectomy, Carotid, Hemodynamics, Humans, Intracranial Embolism, Intracranial Thrombosis, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors, Stroke, Time Factors, Treatment Outcome