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US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for Asymptomatic Carotid Artery Stenosis: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. JAMA. 2021;325(5):476–481. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.26988
Carotid artery stenosis is atherosclerotic disease that affects extracranial carotid arteries. Asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis refers to stenosis in persons without a history of ischemic stroke, transient ischemic attack, or other neurologic symptoms referable to the carotid arteries. The prevalence of asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis is low in the general population but increases with age.
To determine if its 2014 recommendation should be reaffirmed, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) commissioned a reaffirmation evidence review. The reaffirmation update focused on the targeted key questions on the potential benefits and harms of screening and interventions, including revascularization procedures designed to improve carotid artery blood flow, in persons with asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis.
This recommendation statement applies to adults without a history of transient ischemic attack, stroke, or other neurologic signs or symptoms referable to the carotid arteries.
The USPSTF found no new substantial evidence that could change its recommendation and therefore concludes with moderate certainty that the harms of screening for asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis outweigh the benefits.
The USPSTF recommends against screening for asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis in the general adult population. (D recommendation)
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