Effect of frailty syndrome on the outcomes of patients with carotid stenosis

Viraj Pandit, Ashton Lee, Muhammad Zeeshan, Kaoru Goshima, Tze Woei Tan, Sandeep Jhajj, Bradley Trinidad, Craig Weinkauf, Wei Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background: Frailty syndrome confers a greater risk of morbidity and mortality after operative interventions. The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of frailty on the outcomes after carotid interventions, including both carotid endarterectomy (CEA) and carotid artery stenting (CAS). Methods: We performed an 8-year (2005-2012) retrospective analysis of the National Surgery Quality and Improvement Program database, including patients who had undergone CEA or CAS for carotid artery stenosis. A modified frailty index score was calculated. Frail status was defined as a modified frailty index score of ≥0.27. The outcome measures were inpatient complications, mortality, failure to rescue (FTR), hospital length of stay, and 30-day readmissions. Multivariable regression analysis was performed to study the association between frailty and the perioperative outcomes. Results: The data from 37,875 patients were included. Of the 37,875 patients, 95.7% had undergone CEA, and 27.3% of the patients were frail (27% of the CEA and 26% of the CAS groups had qualified as frail). Overall, 11.7% of the patients had experienced complications, 2.2% had died, and 6.7% had been readmitted after discharge. On regression analysis, after controlling for age, gender, albumin level, type of surgery, and American Society of Anesthesiologists class, frail status was an independent predictor of complications (23.5% vs 7.2%; P <.001), mortality (5.2% vs 1.1%; P =.02), FTR (12.1% vs 4.7%; P =.02), and 30-day readmissions (14.9% vs 3.7%; P =.03). On subanalysis of the patients who had undergone CAS, no association was found between frail status and the occurrence of complications (odds ratio [OR], 1.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.8-3.2), mortality (OR, 1.2; 95% CI, 0.6-2.7), FTR (OR, 0.9; 95% CI, 0.4-2.3), and 30-day readmission rate (OR, 1.1; 95% CI, 0.5-3.1). Conclusions: Frailty syndrome was associated with morbidity and mortality among patients undergoing surgical interventions for carotid stenosis. In the present study, frailty was associated with significant mortality and morbidity for those who had undergone CEA but not for those who had undergone CAS. However, the present study was not designed to determine the optimal treatment of frail patients. Incorporating frailty status into the treatment algorithm (CEA vs CAS) might provide a more accurate risk assessment and improve patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1595-1600
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2020


  • Carotid artery stenting
  • Carotid endarterectomy
  • Failure to rescue
  • Frailty
  • Modified frailty index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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