Carotid endarterectomy is currently recommended for patients with recently symptomatic carotid stenosis ≥50%, based on randomised trials conducted 30 years ago. Several factors such as carotid plaque ulceration, age and associated comorbidities might influence the risk-benefit ratio of carotid revascularisation. A model developed in previous trials that calculates the future risk of stroke based on these features can be used to stratify patients into low, intermediate or high risk. Since the original trials, medical treatment has improved significantly. Our hypothesis is that patients with carotid stenosis ≥50% associated with a low to intermediate risk of stroke will not benefit from additional carotid revascularisation when treated with optimised medical therapy. We also hypothesise that prediction of future risk of stroke in individual patients with carotid stenosis can be improved using the results of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the carotid plaque.
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