BACKGROUND: Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) reduces the risk of stroke in patients with high-grade carotid artery stenosis. This study evaluates the clinical outcome of CEA performed under local anesthesia (LA) versus general anesthesia (GA). METHODS: Clinical variables and treatment outcomes were analyzed in 548 CEAs performed under either LA or GA during a 30-month period. Factors associated with morbidity were also analyzed. RESULTS: A total of 263 CEAs under LA and 285 CEA under GA were analyzed. The LA group was associated with a lower incidence of shunt placement, operative time, and perioperative hemodynamic instability compared to the GA group. No differences in neurologic complications or mortality were found between the 2 groups. Hyperlipidemia was a risk factor for postoperative morbidity in both the LA and GA groups, while age greater than 75 years was associated with increased overall morbidity in the GA group but not the LA group. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that increased age is associated with increased morbidity in CEA under GA, while hyperlipidemia is associated with increased morbidity in CEA regardless of the anesthetic choice.
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