Options for endovascular treatment of carotid artery disease have been developed to
compliment with carotid endarterectomy, transfemoral carotid artery stenting (TFCAS)
and a hybrid approach with transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR). We sought
to capture endpoints outside of stroke, myocardial infarction (MI), and death involved
with each procedure at our institution as well as evaluate cost.
Carotid stent procedures performed from 2014 to 2020 at our institution underwent
comparative analysis based upon access site and type of stent procedure performed,
TFCAS versus TCAR. Procedural details and outcomes were captured prospectively and
included in the National Cardiovascular Data Peripheral Vascular Intervention Registry
(NCDR-PVI). Further retrospective review was performed to evaluate endpoints beyond
stroke, MI, and death. Total in-hospital cost, including administrative, capital and
utilities (fixed cost), and labor and supplies (variable cost) were also evaluated.
One hundred thirty-seven patients were reviewed. Seventy-seven were treated with TFCAS
and 60 with TCAR. The mean age was 74 years, predominantly male (68%) and Caucasian
(90%). Patients undergoing TFCAS were more likely to be symptomatic compared to those
receiving TCAR (81.8% vs. 50.0%, P = <0.001). There were no statistically significant differences in event rates, including
mortality, recurrent cerebrovascular accident / transient ischemic attack, or bleeding.
Complications not captured in the NCDR-PVI database were more frequent in the TCAR
group (21.7% vs. 5.2%, P = 0.004) and included pneumothorax (n = 2), neck hematoma (n = 8), and common carotid artery stenosis or injury (n = 3). Rates of complications in the TFCAS group (n = 4) were lower and limited to groin hematoma (n = 2), central retinal artery occlusion causing vision loss and a case of postoperative
dysphagia. Geographic miss of initial stent placement was identified in 15.0% of TCAR
patients and 2.6% (P = 0.008) of TFCAS patients. Restenosis rates on duplex ultrasound were similar between
the two groups (14.6% of patients) and were not associated with symptoms. The mean
follow-up interval was similar for both groups of 31.8 months for TCAR and 30.7 months
for TFCAS (P = 0.797). There was a statistically significant difference in total cost with TCAR
being more expensive ($22,315 vs. $11,001) driven by direct costs that included devices,
imaging, and extended length of stay in the TCAR group (P < 0.001). There was no significant difference between stroke free survival (91.1%
vs. 88.6%, P = 0.69) and mortality (78.1% vs. 85.2%, P = 0.677) at 3 years follow-up between TCAR and TFCAS, respectively.
Both TFCAS and TCAR provide similar 3-year stroke and mortality risk/benefit and are
distinctly different procedures. Both should be evaluated independently with analysis
of variables beyond stroke, death, and MI. TFCAS is more cost-effective than TCAR
in this single institution study.