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Treating Asymptomatic Patients: Truth and Illusion. William A. Gray MD Associate Professor of Medicine Columbia University New York. Can patients with carotid stenosis be identified as at risk for stroke?. Classically risk is assigned by: Clinical syndrome

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treating asymptomatic patients truth and illusion

Treating Asymptomatic Patients: Truth and Illusion

William A. Gray MD

Associate Professor of Medicine

Columbia University

New York

can patients with carotid stenosis be identified as at risk for stroke
Can patients with carotid stenosis be identified as at risk for stroke?
  • Classically risk is assigned by:
    • Clinical syndrome
      • Recently symptomatic >> asymptomatic
    • Stenosis severity
      • Regardless of symptom status, risk increases with stenosis grade
  • Attempts to further stratify risk in the asymptomatic population have included:
    • Plaque characterization --Intracranial signaling
    • Cerebrovascular reserve --Clinical comorbidities
plaque characterization in search of t he loaded gun
Plaque characterization:In search of the “loaded gun”

Fat-suppressed T2

Fat-suppressed T1

Intra-plaque hemorrhage

perspectives on plaque characterization and stroke event prediction
Perspectives on plaque characterization and stroke event prediction
  • In asymptomatic carotid stenosis, per annum rates of stroke events either with natural history (~2%-4%) or post-CEA or CAS (1.0%-1.5%) low
    • PROSPECT coronary analogue
  • Any advanced plaque imaging modality with meaningful clinical utility would require a:
    • High positive predictive value for a given marker(s) within a clinical relevant time window
  • There are currently no clinical population-based predictive data to drive decision-making based on advanced plaque characterization in asymptomatic patients

PROSPECT

years

conclusions regarding risk stratification of patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis
Conclusions regarding risk stratification of patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis
  • Additional stroke risk may predicted by:
    • Stenosis severity Asymptomatic emboli
    • Stenosis progression Co-morbidities:
    • Cerebrovascular reserve -Renal insufficiency
    • Plaque characteristics -Contralateral symptoms
  • However randomized control studies to date have selected patients based on stenosis severity and symptom status, and have excluded co-morbidities.
    • Other potential predictors of increased risk have not been systematically studied
  • Most importantly, the concept of the “low risk” patient has not clearly been defined, nor identified
slide7
The best available evidence supports revascularization as a principal treatment option in asymptomatic patients
  • Two RCTs show superiority of revascularization over medical therapy for asymptomatic patients
  • Systematic review and population based studies purporting to show improvements in best medical therapy over time has significant flaws
  • Claims that medical therapy has greatly reduced stroke rates can therefore only be viewed as hypothesis-generating at best, and do not supplant Tier 1 evidence showing clear patient benefits from revascularization
three positive randomized trials favoring cea
Three Positive Randomized Trials Favoring CEA

Perhaps medical therapy has improved

enough to negate that benefit

Carotid endarterectomy versus medical management:

Perioperative stroke or death or subsequent ipsilateral stroke

cea outcomes are i mproving
CEA outcomes are improving

Current risk with CEA is half what it was in ACST Trial.

medical treatment for asymptomatic carotid stenosis is the current annual risk really less than 1
Medical Treatment for Asymptomatic Carotid StenosisIs the current annual risk really less than 1%?

Marquardt et al. Stroke 2010

Clinical Trials

medical treatment for asymptomatic carotid stenosis is the current annual risk really less than 11
Medical Treatment for Asymptomatic Carotid StenosisIs the current annual risk really less than 1%?

Patients with minimal disease generally have minimal risk of stroke

slide12

5 year risk of stroke

An inflection point

at a PSV >250

Asymptomatic Internal Carotid Artery Stenosis Defined by Ultrasound and the Risk of Subsequent Stroke in the Elderly: The Cardiovascular Health Study. Longstreth et al Stroke. 29(11):2371-2376, November 1998.

3

slide14
The support for medical therapywithout revascularization for severe asymptomatic carotid stenosis rests on retrospective analyses
significant methodological flaws with abbott review
Significant methodological flaws with Abbott review
  • Mainly based on observational data (8 of 11 studies)
  • Most of the asymptomatic patients in the included studies would not be candidates for revascularization
    • Sixty percent (60%) of patients in the systematic review did not meet current AHA guidelines for revascularization
  • The heterogeneity of the populations across studies makes it inappropriate to include in a single analysis
    • Earlier studies had a higher minimum stenoses than later studies
    • Studies used different imaging modalities
    • Some studies excluded patients with any prior CV events
    • Some studies included patients with prior revascularizations
  • Medical management was variable across studies
    • Not clearly adjudicated across studies
    • Other causes of stroke were not controlled for, such as atrial fibrillation
studies included in abbott analysis are incomplete
Studies included in Abbott analysis are incomplete

Largest randomized trial in

asymptomatic carotid disease is omitted

(ACST, 1500 medically treated patients)

critical appraisal of abbott analysis
Critical appraisal of Abbott analysis

If the systematic review’s analysis had adjusted for minimum % stenosis, or had included more recent studies (REACH and ACST) the trend in stroke rates would have been in the opposite direction (p = 0.55)

Largest and most recent REACH study (N = 3164) published after the systematic review contradicts the review findings

The Change in Minimum Stenosis Thresholds in Studies Over Time Mirrors the Reported Decline In Stroke Rates

Trend sensitive to effects of early study

with more complex patients

Aichner FT, et al. Eur J Neurol2009; 16:902-908.

slide19

“CBAS should not currently undergo widespread practice, which should await results of randomized trials.”

“These and other consensus conclusions will help physicians in all specialties deal with CBAS in a rational way rather than by being guided by unsubstantiated claims.”

slide20

“ Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.. ”Andre Gide, Le Traite du Narcisse1891

StampferMJet al. PrevMed. 1991 Jan;20(1):47-63.

Hulley S et al. JAMA 1998;280(7):605-613

randomized trial data in asymptomatic patients acst trial
Randomized trial data in asymptomatic patientsACST trial
  • Asymptomatic patients with standard surgical risk
  • Randomized trial
    • CEA vs. non-directed medical care
  • 5 year follow-up published 2004, 10 year in 2010
  • Primary endpoint:
    • Any stroke or peri-operative death
rate and implication of cross over in acst
Rate and implication of cross-over in ACST

Results are reported based on ITT analysis

acst population with lipid lowering rx demonstrate continued benefit with cea
ACST:Population with lipid-lowering Rx demonstrate continued benefit with CEA

Not on lipid-lowering therapy at entry

On lipid-lowering therapy at entry

best medical therapy in carotid artery disease what s missing
Best Medical Therapy in carotid artery disease: what’s missing
  • Knowledge as to the correct “cocktail” of medication class, specific to carotid-related targets
    • What is “Best Medical Therapy”?
      • What BP med? What target BP?
      • Which lipid med? What target lipid levels? For LDL? For HDL?
      • How do we improve smoking cessation rates?
  • Measures and assurances of compliance and side effect issues
    • NHANES reports <25% patients achieve BP goal
  • Randomized data showing equivalence or superiority to revascularization in asymptomatic severe carotid stenosis
cas in the asymptomatic patient
CAS in the asymptomatic patient
  • There are no randomized outcome data for CAS vs. medical therapy in the asymptomatic (or symptomatic) patient
  • CAS has been compared only to the established standard of care, CEA
slide32
In a combination of symptomatic and asymptomatic patients, there are no differences in outcome for CAS and CEA

CREST

slide34
Long-term mortality is predicted by MINo association with minor stroke but strong association with MI

q23eq

Gray et al. Circulation. In press

crest fate of cea cranial nerve injury
CREST:Fate of CEA cranial nerve injury

Gray et al. Circulation 2012

slide36

CREST:

Access complications greater with CEA

Patients requiring re-operation

Events may occur more than once in the same patient.

Other includes pain requiring IV analgesics (5), incision complication (3), pseudoaneurysm (2), occlusion (1)

Gray et al. Circulation 2012

slide37

N=4282

8

7

6

5

4

(%) Subjects

3

2

1.8

2.9

1

1.1

0.8

0.6

0

Stroke Minor (1.8%)

Death/Stroke

Death/Major Stroke

Death

Stroke Major (0.6%)

CAS achieves AHA guidelines in asymptomatic patientsLarge, prospective, multicenter neurologically-audited/independent adjudication single arm studies in high-surgical risk patients

EXACT/CAPTURE 2 (combined): 30-day major adverse events asymptomatic patients <80 years

3%

AHA guideline

Hierarchical- Includes only the most serious event for each

patient and includes only each patient first occurrence of each event.

Gray et al. CircCardiovascInterv. 2009 Jun;2(3):159-66

capture 2 asymptomatic 80 y o patients
CAPTURE 2: Asymptomatic <80 y.o. patients

30 day stroke/death distribution by site

N=1372

No stroke or death in 81% (134/166) of sites

Gray et al. JACC CardiovascInterv. 2011 Feb;4(2):235-46

revascularization of asymptomatic stenosis
Revascularization of asymptomatic stenosis

Strongly recommended

benefit >>>risk, class I

Should be considered

benefit >>risk, class IIa

Might/may be considered

benefit >/=risk, class IIb

crest 2 primary aim
CREST 2: Primary Aim
  • To assess if contemporary REVASCULARIZATION, either CAS or CEA, provides an incremental benefit of 1.2% annual risk reduction over contemporary medical therapy
crest 2 primary o utcome
CREST 2: Primaryoutcome
  • The primary outcome will be the classical composite of stroke or death within 30 days of enrollment or ipsilateral stroke up to 4-years thereafter.
crest 2 key d esign e lements
CREST 2: Key designelements
  • Sample size ~2000 participants at approximately 70 centers.
  • Statistical power will be ~ 90% to detect a 4.8% treatment difference (1.2% per year)
slide46
After randomization, the CAS and CEA groups imbedded in the REVASC and MEDICAL arms will allow randomized-protected comparisons of CEA-intended and CAS-intended patients to the MEDICAL patients.
managing patients with a symptomatic carotid stenosis summary
Managing patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis: Summary
  • Asymptomatic carotid stenosis is a risk factor for stroke
  • Surgical revascularization therapy is proven beneficial vs. unmonitored (but probably real world) medical therapy
  • CAS outcomes have demonstrated similar outcomes to CEA (CREST), achieved AHA guidelines, and now is Class 2b recommendation in asymptomatic patients (CEA Class 2a)
  • The role of medical therapy remains a tantalizing but unproven alternative to revascularization in patients with established severe carotid stenosis.
    • Until such time as this benefit is demonstrated to be superior, the available randomized controlled data support revascularization in suitable patients
final perspectives on cea cas and b est m edical t herapy
Final perspectives on CEA, CAS and Best Medical Therapy
  • CEA, CAS and medical therapy likely have all had outcome improvements over the past couple of decades
  • They have will likely have complementary, not competitive roles in the patient requiring revascularization, and the judicious and selective use of these therapies can result in overall improved patient outcomes:
    • Fewer strokes, fewer MI’s
    • Less disability and less CV mortality
  • Defining the comparative outcomes between CAS and CEA is still pending the dedicated study that ASCT2 represents
patient level acst cost effectiveness analysis for carotid revascularization
Patient level (ACST) cost-effectiveness analysis for carotid revascularization

AnkurThapar: Imperial College, London