A new study suggests that stenting and Carotid Endarterectomy have similar positive effects among patients who have carotid artery disease. Both proved to be equally effective at lowering risk of stroke, said Mayo Clinic in a press release. Findings will be presented at the American Heart Association’s International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles.

Results would appear to show that risk of stroke after stenting or surgery (endarterectomy) was 7 percent. Benefits obtained after both procedures were applied to different patients were equal for older and younger individuals, regardless of sex, even if they had previously had a stroke, said Mayo Clinic in a press release on Thursday.

Credit: Infirmus

A stent is a small mesh tube used to treat narrow or weak arteries. Doctors may place a stent in an artery in order to restore blood flow. On the other hand, Carotid Endarterectomy is a type of surgery in which a doctor makes a cut in the neck and removes obstructing plaque from a carotid artery to restore its normal blood blow, wrote the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

The study was presented as one of the largest in its kind. A team led by researchers at Mayo Clinic analyzed data of 2,502 69-years-old patients for 10 years at 117 centers throughout the U.S. and Canada. It was concluded that both procedures are safe and very durable in preventing stroke, says study’s main author Thomas G. Brott, M.D., Professor of Neurosciences on Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida.

“Because Medicare-age patients with carotid narrowing are living longer, the durability of stenting and surgery will be reassuring to the patients and their families,” He added in a press release.

The neurologist says that the results are very encouraging since it is confirmed that both procedures prove to be effective in the long term. As a result, patients will be able to decide whether to undergo surgery or stenting, depending on their preferences and medical conditions. Results were published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Doctors said that the best way to manage stroke risk has not been defined yet. A new research called CREST-2 is already being conducted to compare stenting and surgery to medical management, said Kevin Punsky, a writer at Mayo Clinic.

One American dies from stroke every four minutes

According to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC), stroke kills almost 130,000 United States citizens every year, which can be translated as 1 out of every 20 deaths in the country. However, every year more than 795,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke.

Dr. Brott says that carotid narrowing causes 5 to 10 percent of all strokes in the country, (about 40,000 to 50,000 strokes a year). He stressed the relevance of the study, saying that it is important to understand how to prevent strokes from providing new services to patients. The CDC said that strokes cost the U.S. $34 billion each year.

“This very low rate shows these two procedures are safe and are also very durable in preventing stroke… We have two safe procedures. We know now that they are very effective in the long run” He added.

Source: Mayo Clinic Press Release