Vascular Quality Initiative. Relationships between 2-Year Survival, Costs, and Outcomes following Carotid Endarterectomy in Asymptomatic Patients in the Vascular Quality Initiative

Journal Annals of Vascular Surgery
Wallaert JB, Newhall KA, Suckow BD, Brooke BS, Zhang M, Farber AE, Likosky D, Goodney PP
Year Published 2016
Link to publication



Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) for asymptomatic patients with limited life expectancy may not be beneficial or cost-effective. The purpose of this study was to examine relationships among survival, outcomes, and costs within 2 years following CEA among asymptomatic patients.


Prospectively collected data from 3097 patients undergoing CEA for asymptomatic disease from Vascular Quality Initiative VQI registry were linked to Medicare. Models were used to identify predictors of 2-year mortality following CEA. Patients were classified as low, medium, or high risk of death based on this model. Next, we examined costs related to cerebrovascular care, occurrence of stroke, rehospitalization, and reintervention within 2 years following CEA across risk strata.


Overall, 2-year mortality was 6.7%. Age, diabetes, smoking, congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, renal insufficiency, absence of statin use, and contralateral internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis were independently associated with a higher risk of death following CEA. In-hospital costs averaged $7500 among patients defined as low risk for death, and exceeded $10,800 among high risk patients. Although long-term costs related to cerebrovascular disease were 2 times higher in patients deemed high risk for death compared with low risk patents ($17,800 vs. $8800, P = 0.001), high risk of death was not independently associated with a high probability of high cost. Predictors of high cost at 2 years were severe contralateral ICA stenosis, dialysis dependence, and American Society for Anesthesia Class 4. Both statin use and CHF were protective of high cost.


Greater than 90% of patients undergoing CEA live long enough to realize the benefits of their procedure. Moreover, the long-term costs are supported by the effectiveness of this procedure at all levels of patient risk.