Using a stent can work just as well as surgery for the prevention of stroke, a new study has said.
Doctors now have two safe and effective options to treat their patients at risk for stroke, says a researcher at Mayo Clinic who led a large clinical trial testing surgery or use of a stent to open a blocked carotid artery.
The results also show "excellent safety and long term results for patients with warning signs for stroke as well as for patients without such warning signs," said the national principal investigator, Thomas G. Brott, professor of neurology and director for research at the Mayo Clinic campus in Florida.
Researchers say that while the findings show surgery and stenting had very good long-term outcomes, they differed in the weeks following the procedure - patients who received a stent had fewer heart attacks, and those treated surgically had fewer strokes.
Age also made a difference, they say - people younger than 70 did slightly better with stents while those over 70 had better results with surgery.
The study has been published in the May 26 online issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.