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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: In the Asymptomatic Carotid Surgery Trial-1 (ACST-1), 3120 patients with tight asymptomatic carotid stenosis were randomly assigned to medical treatment alone or to carotid endarterectomy and appropriate medication. Successful carotid endarterectomy significantly reduced 10-year stroke risk in younger patients. This study was undertaken to determine the risk of new occlusion and stroke during trial follow-up. METHODS: Patients with contralateral occlusion at trial entry (n=276) or incomplete duplex follow-up (n=137) were excluded. Risk of occlusion and stroke in patients with occlusion was estimated by Kaplan-Meier analysis. Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to determine risk factors for developing new occlusion and stroke. RESULTS: Median follow-up in 2707 patients was 80.0 months (interquartile range, 52.0-115.0). New occlusions occurred in 197 patients (1.1% per annum) but were more likely to occur in arteries with tight stenosis and in unoperated patients. Overall risk of stroke was 7.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.6-8.7) and 15.5% (95% CI, 13.6-17.4) at 5 and 10 years, respectively; for patients with new occlusion, this significantly increased to 17.0% (95% CI, 11.6-22.4) and 20.8% (95% CI, 14.1-26.2), respectively (P<0.001). Stroke was significantly more likely to occur in patients developing occlusion (hazard ratio, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.26-2.51) irrespective of allocated treatment. CONCLUSIONS: New occlusions were uncommon after carotid endarterectomy in ACST-1. During long-term follow-up, occlusion and stroke were commoner among patients with ≥ 70% stenosis, most of whom had not undergone carotid endarterectomy. Occlusion was an independent prognostic risk factor for occurrence of stroke.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1652 - 1659


carotid occlusive disease, carotid stenosis, stroke, Aged, Antihypertensive Agents, Carotid Stenosis, Combined Modality Therapy, Endarterectomy, Carotid, Female, Fibrinolytic Agents, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Kaplan-Meier Estimate, Male, Middle Aged, Multivariate Analysis, Proportional Hazards Models, Recurrence, Risk Factors, Stroke, Time Factors