Purpose: Postoperative neurologic injury remains a significant risk of carotid endarterectomy. Mechanisms include embolization of debris and formation of thrombus on the newly endarterectomized surface. We hypothesized that the risk of postoperative neurologic injury would be lower in those patients who did not receive protamine for reversal of heparin anticoagulation. Methods: We reviewed 348 consecutive primary carotid endarterectomies performed since January 1, 1986, to determine the relationship between surgical outcomes and reversal of heparin anticoagulation. Patients undergoing additional simultaneous cardiovascular procedures were excluded. One hundred ninety-three patients received protamine after completion of the endarterectomy. The remaining 155 patients did not receive any protamine. Results: All patients in both groups survived to discharge. There were no strokes in those patients who did not receive any protamine; however, the stroke rate in the protamine group was 2.6% (5 of 193), p < 0.045. The incidence of hematoma requiring reexploration was 1.0% (2 of 193) and 1.9% (3 of 155) in the protamine and no-protamine groups, respectively (p = NS). Intraoperative shunting was used more frequently in the no-protamine group (84% vs 67%, p < 0.001), and patch angioplasty was performed more frequently in the protamine group (35% vs 15%, p < 0.001). However, neither shunting nor patching significantly influenced stroke rates. Conclusions: We conclude that carotid endarterectomy without reversal of heparin anticoagulation is associated with a reduced postoperative stroke rate without a significant increase in morbidity rates. (J VASC SURG 1995;22:264-70.).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine