One-year experience in carotid endarterectomy combining general anaesthesia with preserved consciousness and sequential carotid cross-clamping

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Alessandro Ucci
Rita Maria D'Ospina
Mara Fanelli
Giulia Rossi
Federica Persi
Franca Bridelli
Michela Tosi
Claudio Bianchini Massoni
Paolo Perini
Bilal Nabulsi
Alessandro de Troia
Tiziano Tecchio
Matteo Azzarone
Antonio Freyrie


carotid endarterectomy, local anaesthesia, remifentanil, preserved consciousness, carotid stenosis, general anaesthesia


Background and aim of the work: We report 1-year single-centre experience in carotid endarterectomy (CEA) combining general anaesthesia with preserved consciousness (GAPC) and standardized carotid sequential cross-clamping, for our protocol effectiveness evaluation in reduction of perioperative stroke, death or cardiologic complications. Methods: We considered all patients who underwent CEA in 2016. All patients underwent superficial cervical plexus block and GAPC with Remifentanil. The surgical technique consisted of common carotid artery (CCA) cross-clamping, carotid bifurcation isolation, external (ECA) and internal carotid artery (ICA) cross-clamping. After CCA cross-clamping, we performed a neurological tolerance test (NTT); this allowed selective shunting only for positive NTT. Primary end-points were: transient ischemic attack (TIA)/stroke, myocardial infarction, death in perioperative period. Secondary end-points were: carotid shunting, peripheral cranial nerves injuries (PCNI), GAPC intolerance, other complications, reintervention in perioperative period, length of hospital stay. Results: 104 consecutive patients underwent CEA with this protocol in the considered period. Twenty-seven (25.9%) patients were symptomatic. Mean clamping time was 48±13.5 minutes. Five cases (4.8%) requested internal carotid artery shunting. No TIA/stroke, myocardial infarction or death were recorded in the perioperative period. PCNI were observed in 19 cases (18.2%) in the immediate post-operative period; 16 of them (84.2%) showed complete or partial resolution at discharge. Only one patient (0.9%) showed GAPC intolerance. No other complication occurred. Three patients (2.9%) underwent reintervention for neck haematoma drainage. Mean hospital stay were 3±0.9 days. Conclusions: GAPC associated with sequential carotid cross-clamping appeared to be safe and effective in prevention of major neurological and cardiologic complications during CEA.



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