UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


The effect of postoperative stroke and myocardial infarction on long-term survival after carotid revascularization

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Surgery, Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery

Publication Date


Document Type



Cerebral Revascularization; Postoperative Complications; Stroke; Myocardial Infarction


Cardiovascular Diseases | Surgery


INTRODUCTION: The largest randomized controlled trial that compared the efficacy of carotid endarterectomy (CEA) with carotid artery stenting (CAS) showed equivalent outcomes for the composite end point of postoperative stroke, myocardial infarction (MI), or death. However, CAS had a higher risk of postoperative stroke, and CEA had a higher risk of MI. We hypothesize that there is a differential association of postoperative stroke, compared with that of postoperative MI, with reduced long-term survival after carotid revascularization when compared with neither complication.

METHODS: The Vascular Study Group of New England database was used to identify all CEA and CAS procedures performed between 2003 and 2011. Patients were stratified according to whether they experienced an in-hospital postoperative stroke (minor or major), MI (troponin elevation, electrocardiographic changes, or clinical symptoms), or neither. Primary study end point was survival during the first year and the first 5 years postoperatively. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models compared the magnitude of association of stroke and MI on survival.

RESULTS: Of 8315 patients, 81 (0.97%) experienced postoperative MI, and 63 (0.76%) experienced stroke. During the first year after operation, survival significantly differed among the three groups: neither, 96%; MI, 84%; stroke, 77% (log-rank P < .0001). After adjusting for confounders, survival after postoperative stroke (hazard ratio [HR], 6.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.7-12; P < .0001) was nearly twofold less than that after postoperative MI (HR, 3.6; 95% CI, 2-6.8; P < .0001). During the first 5 years postoperatively, multivariable modeling showed postoperative stroke and postoperative MI remained independent predictors of decreased survival, but the magnitude of association was similar (HR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.7-4.3 [P < .0001] vs HR, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.8-4.3 [P < .0001]).

CONCLUSIONS: During the first year after operation, postoperative stroke conferred a twofold lower survival than that after postoperative MI. By 5 years after operation, these survival curves converged, and the survival disadvantage associated with stroke became similar to that of MI. These data suggest that different postoperative complications after carotid revascularization have different implications for patients, with decreased short-term survival in patients experiencing a postoperative stroke. These findings help to inform our interpretation of studies that have used a composite end point in order to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of revascularization strategies

DOI of Published Version



J Vasc Surg. 2013 Jun;57(6):1581-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2012.11.118. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of vascular surgery

PubMed ID