Maximum preservation of the media in carotid endarterectomy

Kuniyasu Niizuma, Hiroaki Shimizu, Takashi Inoue, Mika Watanabe, Teiji Tominaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) is intended to remove atheromatous plaque by dissecting a plane between the intima and the media (circular medial fibers), but this may not be the optimal dissection plane. The present technique is based on identifying the plane that divides the media from the plaque, so preserving the media on the adventitia as much as possible. This plane is more difficult to find and follow than the easy-to-dissect plane usually located between the media and the adventitia, because the plaque invades the media and so the dividing plane is located within the media. In this prospective observational study, CEA was performed in 22 patients to histologically examine the excised plaques and small samples of the whole arterial wall, and evaluate the clinical outcomes. Plaque had invaded the luminal part of the media in the whole arterial wall sample of 80% of cases. Thin medial layers covering > 80% of the surface of the plaque were found in 16 of 22 plaques (73%). Some atheromatous component was sometimes left in the preserved media, rather than completely removed with the media. No morbidity or mortality had occurred by discharge. Only 1 small ipsilateral infarction (4.5%) and no restenosis of greater than 50% were detected during the mean follow-up period of 7 years. Since the plaque usually invades the media, the optimum dissection plane may be located within the media, dividing it into two layers. The presence of some remnant atheromatous components in the preserved media was not associated with surgical complications or restenosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)812-818
Number of pages7
JournalNeurologia Medico-Chirurgica
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Carotid endarterectomy
  • Dissection
  • Media
  • Plaque


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