Carotid Intervention Improves Cognitive Function in Patients with Severe Atherosclerotic Carotid Disease

Wei Zhou, Bahaa Succar, Devin P. Murphy, Yazan Ashouri, Ying Hui Chou, Chiu Hsieh Hsu, Steven Rapcsak, Theodore Trouard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Carotid revascularization procedures are effective in stroke prevention in appropriately selected patients. We sought to understand the effects of the carotid intervention on cognitive function in a well-defined cohort of prospectively recruited patients. Methods: A total of 170 consecutive patients undergoing carotid intervention for severe carotid stenosis were recruited. Patients received neuropsychometric testing preintervention, and at 1, 6, and 12 months postoperative. Patients were screened with the Mini-Mental State Examination. Rey Auditory Verbal Learning test (RAVLT) test was the primary outcome measure and multiple cognitive tests were used to evaluate executive function. Paired t test and McNemar test were performed to compare age-adjusted and education-adjusted postoperative scores at the individual time point with the preoperative scores. Results: Our patients had a high prevalence of cardiovascular risks and 51.2% of whom were symptomatic. The usages of statin and antiplatelet were high (88.8% and 69.4%, respectively). A total of 140 patients had 1 or more postoperative neuropsychometric tests in addition to their preoperative tests were included. The average RAVLT preoperative score was lower (z=-0.79, SD=1.3, confidence interval: -1 to -0.53) than the age-adjusted norm. We observed a significant improvement in RAVLT memory scores at 1 and 6 months postoperative compared with preoperative. We also observed significant improvement in multiple executive functions measures up to 12 months postoperative. The improvement on patients with preoperative stroke symptoms was less consistent. Conclusions: This prospective study showed that carotid intervention improved memory and executive function in patients with the severe carotid occlusive disease. It highlights the cognitive benefit of the carotid intervention in appropriately selected patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-544
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022


  • carotid endarterectomy
  • carotid revascularization
  • carotid stenosis
  • carotid stenting
  • cognitive function
  • cognitive impairment
  • dementia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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