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Carotid Revascularization Improves Cognitive Function in Patients with Asymptomatic Carotid Artery Stenosis

      Background

      To investigate cognitive changes after carotid revascularization in elderly patients with asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis. We also compared cognitive outcomes of carotid endarterectomy CEA with stenting in asymptomatic patients.

      Methods

      From April 2019 to December 2019, patients with ≥70% asymptomatic carotid stenosis who were treated with CEA or CAS, were recruited for this study. The Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA) instrument was used to evaluate cognitive function preoperatively and postoperatively at 3, 6, and 12 months. The incidence of ipsilateral ischemic cerebrovascular events and restenosis were analyzed within 12 months.

      Results

      In 50 patients treated with CEA or carotid artery stenting CAS, baseline cognitive function was not different between CEA and CAS groups (P > 0.05). There was no difference in the incidence of ipsilateral ischemic cerebrovascular events and restenosis within the first 12 months between the two groups. There was a significant improvement in the total MoCA score, scores of attention, and delayed recall at 3, 6 and 12 months after revascularization compared with scores at baseline (all P < 0.001). At 12 months, scores of cube copying and clock drawing were significantly improved (P = 0.014, P = 0.020). The clock drawing score was improved at 12 months after CAS compared with CEA (P = 0.040).

      Conclusions

      Carotid revascularization has a beneficial effect on cognition in asymptomatic patients within 12 months of the procedure. Compared with CEA, CAS show improved test scores of executive functioning by 1 year.
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