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USPSTF Finalizes Recommendations on Carotid Artery Stenosis Screening — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
July 8, 2014

USPSTF Finalizes Recommendations on Carotid Artery Stenosis Screening

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and André Sofair, MD, MPH

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recommended against screening for asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis in the general adult population (grade D recommendation). Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the statement reiterates the group's 2007 guidance.

The harms of screening outweigh the benefits, the task force says. The groups notes that all screening strategies (e.g., ultrasonography, magnetic resonance angiography) "have imperfect sensitivity and could lead to unnecessary surgery and result in serious harms, including death, stroke, and myocardial infarction."

The recommendation applies to adults without histories of transient ischemic attack, stroke, or other neurologic symptoms.

Reader Comments (3)

ALBERTO Physician, Cardiology, BOLOGNA,ITALY

I always screen carotids to guide statin therapy,and I think that this is important to avoid inappropriate therapy,also for economical reasons.

Davood Akhlagh Moayed MD Physician, Cardiology

Carotid arteries are mirros for atherosclerosis. Non invasive and easy acess. I think in any patient with risk factors of hypertension , dyslipidemia, smoking, diabetes, and strong family history of CAD , and age over 60 , carotid screening is strategic for better care.

David L Keller MD Physician, Internal Medicine, outpatient

Why not screen carotids for systemic atherosclerotic disease to guide statin therapy? Carotids are accessible to ultrasound and coronary arteries are not.

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