Two hundred fifteen patients with a history of either stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA), or asymptomatic carotid bruit underwent noninvasive carotid artery testing using oculopneumoplethysmography. Of patients with hemodynamically significant stenosis, 51 (40.8%) underwent endarterectomy, and 74 (59.2%) were treated nonoperatively. The incidence of stroke in the nonoperated group was 12/74 (16.2%) compared with only 1/51 (1.9%) in the operated group. Similarly, recurrent TIA occurred in 29/74 (39.2%) of the nonoperated group vs 9/51 (17.6%) of the operated. In nonhemodynamically significant carotid stenosis, the risk of cerebrovascular death and stroke was exceedingly low: 2/90 (2.2%). Patients with hemodynamically significant stenosis treated nonoperatively have a greater risk of cerebrovascular death, stroke, and TIA than patients treated with carotid endarterectomy.
Busuttil RW, Baker JD, Davidson RK, Machleder HI. Carotid Artery Stenosis—Hemodynamic Significance and Clinical Course. JAMA. 1981;245(14):1438-1441. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03310390038018