BACKGROUND: Coronary artery bypass grafting ranks as one of the most frequent operations worldwide. The presence of carotid artery stenosis may increase the stroke rate in the perioperative period. Routine preoperative noninvasive assessment of the carotid arteries are recommended in many institutions to reduce the stroke rate.
METHODS: 271 consecutive patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting at Shaheed Madani hospital of Tabriz, Iran (age, 58.5 Y; 73.1% male) underwent preoperative ultrasonography for assessment of carotid artery wall thickness.
RESULTS: Plaque in right common, left common, right internal and left internal carotid arteries was detected in 4.8%, 7.4%, 43.2% and 42.1% of patients respectively. 5 patients (1.8%) had significant (<50%) and 3 (1.1%) patients had critical (<70%) stenosis in internal carotid arteries. Plaque formation in common carotid was not significantly different between two genders but the stenosis of left internal carotid was more frequently seen among men. Patients with plaques in right or left internal carotid arteries were significantly older.
CONCLUSION: Consecutive Iranian patients undergoing elective coronary artery bypass surgery show a very low prevalence of significant carotid artery disease.