OBJECTIVE: Patch angioplasty during carotid endarterectomy is commonly used to treat carotid artery stenosis. However, the choice of which patch to use is still a matter of debate. Autologous venous material has disadvantages such as wound-related problems at the harvest site and a prolonged intervention time. These limitations can be bypassed when synthetic or biological patches are used. Both materials have been associated with divergent advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, the aim of our study was to compare the long-term follow-up outcomes in patients who received carotid endarterectomy and closure with either bovine pericardial patch or polyester patch.
METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted, including all patients who underwent primary carotid endarterectomy and closure with bovine pericardial patch or polyester patch between January 2010 and December 2020 at our tertiary referral center. In 2015, bovine pericardial patch was introduced as an alternative for polyester. The primary outcome was the occurrence of transient ischemic attack or cerebrovascular accident during follow-up and secondary outcomes included restenosis, reintervention, all-cause mortality, and patch infection. Cox proportional hazard models were utilized and hazard ratios with 95%-confidence interval were used to predict the above-mentioned outcomes.
RESULTS: 417 carotid endarterectomy patients were included. 254 (61%) patients received bovine pericardial patch and 163 received (39%) polyester. The mean age was 70.2 ± 8.7 and 67% were male. The median follow-up time was 15 (12-27) months for bovine pericardial patch and 42 (16-60) months for polyester (p<0.001). Postoperative hematoma (≤30 days) was significantly lower in the bovine pericardial patch cohort (2% bovine pericardial patch vs 6% polyester; p=0.047). No other significant differences on short-term outcomes were found. Univariable cox regression analyses showed no significant differences between the effect estimates of polyester and bovine pericardial patch on transient ischemic attack or cerebrovascular accident (p=0.106), restenosis (p=0.211), reintervention (p=0.549), and all-cause mortality (p=0.158). No significant differences were found after adjusting for confounders in the multivariable analyses: transient ischemic attack or cerebrovascular accident, (p=0.939), restenosis (p=0.057), reintervention (p=0.193) and all-cause mortality (p=0.742). Three patients with a polyester patch had patch infection compared to none of the patients in the group who received a bovine pericardial patch.
CONCLUSION: This large retrospective study showed comparable safety and durability of both bovine pericardial patch and polyester suggesting that both patch types can be safely applied for carotid endarterectomy with patch angioplasty. Patch infection was rare while absent in the bovine pericardial patch group.