Real-world experience of treatment decision-making in carotid stenosis in a neurovascular board

  • OBJECTIVE: To describe our experience with consensus-based decision-making for treatment of internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis by neurologists, interventional neuroradiologists, vascular surgeons, and neurosurgeons in a multidisciplinary neurovascular board and to study adherence to treatment recommendations in the context of uncertainty with respect to the best treatment option.

    METHODS: We established a multidisciplinary neurovascular board meeting twice a week with structured documentation of consensus decisions. Over a time period of 53 months, 614 cases with ICA stenosis were discussed, with 285 (46%) symptomatic and 279 (45%) asymptomatic cases.

    RESULTS: Recommendation for symptomatic ICA stenosis was revascularization in 76%, medical management alone in 8%, and further diagnostics in 16%. For asymptomatic ICA stenosis, recommendation was randomization in a clinical trial in 29%, revascularization in 27%, medical management alone in 23%, and further diagnostics in 22%. Treatment recommendations were followed in 94% of symptomatic ICA stenosis and 69% of asymptomatic ICA stenosis. Patients in whom carotid artery stenting was recommended for revascularization were younger and showed a higher rate of severe (≥70%) ICA stenosis.

    CONCLUSIONS: Interdisciplinary board decisions are a helpful and transparent tool to assure adherence to guideline recommendations, and to provide consensus-based individualized treatment strategies in clinical practice in the absence of unequivocal evidence.

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