• Longterm peripheral baroreflex and chemoreflex function after bilateral eversion carotid endarterectomy
  • Marrocco Trischitta, Massimiliano Maria <1969>


  • MED/22 Chirurgia vascolare


  • Introduction The “eversion” technique for carotid endarterectomy (e-CEA), that involves the transection of the internal carotid artery at the carotid bulb and its eversion over the atherosclerotic plaque, has been associated with an increased risk of postoperative hypertension possibly due to a direct iatrogenic damage to the carotid sinus fibers. The aim of this study is to assess the long-term effect of the e-CEA on arterial baroreflex and peripheral chemoreflex function in humans. Methods A retrospective review was conducted on a prospectively compiled computerized database of 3128 CEAs performed on 2617 patients at our Center between January 2001 and March 2006. During this period, a total of 292 patients who had bilateral carotid stenosis ≥70% at the time of the first admission underwent staged bilateral CEAs. Of these, 93 patients had staged bilateral e-CEAs, 126 staged bilateral s- CEAs and 73 had different procedures on each carotid. CEAs were performed with either the eversion or the standard technique with routine Dacron patching in all cases. The study inclusion criteria were bilateral CEA with the same technique on both sides and an uneventful postoperative course after both procedures. We decided to enroll patients submitted to bilateral e-CEA to eliminate the background noise from contralateral carotid sinus fibers. Exclusion criteria were: age >70 years, diabetes mellitus, chronic pulmonary disease, symptomatic ischemic cardiac disease or medical therapy with b-blockers, cardiac arrhythmia, permanent neurologic deficits or an abnormal preoperative cerebral CT scan, carotid restenosis and previous neck or chest surgery or irradiation. Young and aged-matched healthy subjects were also recruited as controls. Patients were assessed by the 4 standard cardiovascular reflex tests, including Lying-to-standing, Orthostatic hypotension, Deep breathing, and Valsalva Maneuver. Indirect autonomic parameters were assessed with a non-invasive approach based on spectral analysis of EKG RR interval, systolic arterial pressure, and respiration variability, performed with an ad hoc software. From the analysis of these parameters the software provides the estimates of spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity (BRS). The ventilatory response to hypoxia was assessed in patients and controls by means of classic rebreathing tests. Results A total of 29 patients (16 males, age 62.4±8.0 years) were enrolled. Overall, 13 patients had undergone bilateral e-CEA (44.8%) and 16 bilateral s-CEA (55.2%) with a mean interval between the procedures of 62±56 days. No patient showed signs or symptoms of autonomic dysfunction, including labile hypertension, tachycardia, palpitations, headache, inappropriate diaphoresis, pallor or flushing. The results of standard cardiovascular autonomic tests showed no evidence of autonomic dysfunction in any of the enrolled patients. At spectral analysis, a residual baroreflex performance was shown in both patient groups, though reduced, as expected, compared to young controls. Notably, baroreflex function was better maintained in e-CEA, compared to standard CEA. (BRS at rest: young controls 19.93 ± 2.45 msec/mmHg; age-matched controls 7.75 ± 1.24; e-CEA 13.85 ± 5.14; s-CEA 4.93 ± 1.15; ANOVA P=0.001; BRS at stand: young controls 7.83 ± 0.66; age-matched controls 3.71 ± 0.35; e-CEA 7.04 ± 1.99; s-CEA 3.57 ± 1.20; ANOVA P=0.001). In all subjects ventilation (VÝ E) and oximetry data fitted a linear regression model with r values > 0.8. Oneway analysis of variance showed a significantly higher slope both for ΔVE/ΔSaO2 in controls compared with both patient groups which were not different from each other (-1.37 ± 0.33 compared with -0.33±0.08 and -0.29 ±0.13 l/min/%SaO2, p<0.05, Fig.). Similar results were observed for and ΔVE/ΔPetO2 (-0.20 ± 0.1 versus -0.01 ± 0.0 and -0.07 ± 0.02 l/min/mmHg, p<0.05). A regression model using treatment, age, baseline FiCO2 and minimum SaO2 achieved showed only treatment as a significant factor in explaining the variance in minute ventilation (R2= 25%). Conclusions Overall, we demonstrated that bilateral e-CEA does not imply a carotid sinus denervation. As a result of some expected degree of iatrogenic damage, such performance was lower than that of controls. Interestingly though, baroreflex performance appeared better maintained in e-CEA than in s-CEA. This may be related to the changes in the elastic properties of the carotid sinus vascular wall, as the patch is more rigid than the endarterectomized carotid wall that remains in the e-CEA. These data confirmed the safety of CEA irrespective of the surgical technique and have relevant clinical implication in the assessment of the frequent hemodynamic disturbances associated with carotid angioplasty stenting.


  • 2008-04-16


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Marrocco Trischitta, Massimiliano Maria (2008) Longterm peripheral baroreflex and chemoreflex function after bilateral eversion carotid endarterectomy, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Metodologie di ricerca nelle malattie vascolari e toraciche , 20 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/977.