Open Access Open Badges Research article

Carotid endarterectomy and carotid artery stenting utilization trends over time

Matthew R Skerritt1*, Robert C Block1, Thomas A Pearson2 and Kate C Young3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, Rochester, NY, USA

2 Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Rochester, NY, USA

3 Department of Neurology University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA

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BMC Neurology 2012, 12:17  doi:10.1186/1471-2377-12-17

Published: 29 March 2012



Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) has been the standard in atherosclerotic stroke prevention for over 2 decades. More recently, carotid artery stenting (CAS) has emerged as a less invasive alternative for revascularization. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether an increase in stenting parallels a decrease in endarterectomy, if there are specific patient factors that influence one intervention over the other, and how these factors may have changed over time.


Using a nationally representative sample of US hospital discharge records, data on CEA and CAS procedures performed from 1998 to 2008 were obtained. In total, 253,651 cases of CEA and CAS were investigated for trends in utilization over time. The specific data elements of age, gender, payer source, and race were analyzed for change over the study period, and their association with type of intervention was examined by multiple logistic regression analysis.


Rates of intervention decreased from 1998 to 2008 (P < 0.0001). Throughout the study period, endarterectomy was the much more widely employed procedure. Its use displayed a significant downward trend (P < 0.0001), with the lowest rates of intervention occurring in 2007. In contrast, carotid artery stenting displayed a significant increase in use over the study period (P < 0.0001), with the highest intervention rates occurring in 2006. Among the specific patient factors analyzed that may have altered utilization of CEA and CAS over time, the proportion of white patients who received intervention decreased significantly (P < 0.0001). In multivariate modeling, increased age, male gender, white race, and earlier in the study period were significant positive predictors of CEA use.


Rates of carotid revascularization have decreased over time, although this has been the result of a reduction in CEA despite an overall increase in CAS. Among the specific patient factors analyzed, age, gender, race, and time were significantly associated with the utilization of these two interventions.