Many physicians in the 1970s believed carotid artery bypass surgery provided benefit to patients at risk of having a first or recurrent stroke. But a large international clinical trial discredited the theory, and the procedure essentially disappeared from operating rooms in the United States.
Today some researchers think they have the imaging technology to identify a subset of patients with stroke whose response to medical treatment—anticoagulants or antiplatelet agents—is poor (subsequent stroke rate of 25% to 50% within 2 years) and who may benefit from bypass surgery.
Mitka M. PET Theory Applied to Stroke Prevention. JAMA. 2002;288(20):2531. doi:10.1001/jama.288.20.2531-JMN1127-4-1