Researchers Establish New Rule To Predict Risk Of Stroke, Death From Surgery That Prevents It

Medical News Today

It's a medical Catch-22: carotid artery surgery can itself cause stroke, but so can asymptomatic carotid disease if left untreated.

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have now developed a clinical risk prediction rule using factors such as sex, race and health history to assess the danger the surgery poses, while a modified version will help patients make a more fully informed choice about whether to have the procedure.

"It may take a thief to catch a thief, but physicians don't want to cause stroke while trying to prevent stroke, so being able to carefully weigh an individual's benefits and risk from carotid surgery is critically important," said Dr. Ethan Halm, chief of the William T. and Gay Solomon Division of General Internal Medicine and senior author of the study published in the journal Stroke.

Researchers drew on factors that increase the risk for postsurgical death or stroke for people with silent, or asymptomatic, carotid disease to predict which patients were at highest risk for complications. Those most at risk were female, non-white and had certain neurologic and heart diseases.

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