Central Surgical Association| Volume 114, ISSUE 4, P643-649, October 1993

Magnetic resonance angiography and duplex imaging: Noninvasive tests for selecting symptomatic carotid endarterectomy candidates

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      Background. This report describes our experience with the use of duplex imaging and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) in the diagnosis and management of 70 patients with symptomatic carotid artery disease. Prospective evaluation of our first 30 patients showed that duplex imaging and MRA accurately correlated with conventional cerebral arteriograms (XRA) in patients with symptoms with greater than 70% ipsilateral carotid artery stenoses. In MRA versus XRA accuracy was 94%, sensitivity 100%, and specificity 93%. With duplex scanning versus XRA accuracy was 88%, sensitivity 93%, and specificity 93%.
      Methods. We are now performing carotid endarterectomy on patients with symptoms without preoperative XRA when there is exact correlation between duplex imaging and MRA. Patients must have focal hemispheric symptoms, ipsilateral duplex peak systolic velocity greater than 2 m/sec, and high-quality MRA imaging of the carotid vessels.
      Results. We have prospectively entered 40 patients for preoperative evaluation with duplex imaging and MRA. High-quality MRA and duplex studies were obtained in 35 patients (88%). XRA was required in the remaining five patients (12%) because of discrepancies between duplex scanning and MRA. Endarterectomy was performed without morbidity or death. Combined use of duplex scanning and MRA eliminated XRA in 35 cases and created a net savings of more than $125,000.
      Conclusions. Our experience suggests that preoperative XRA may not be necessary when duplex imaging and MRA confirm the presence of severe extracranial disease.
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