Augusta, Ga — Believe it or not, you can have more than a 70 percent blockage in your carotid artery and still not have a stroke. What is considered asymptomatic carotid artery disease is actually the basis for a national trial that the Medical College of Georgia and Augusta University Health are taking part in.
The studies at MCG and AU Health are comparing intensive medical management alone to carotid endarterectomy, in which blockages are surgically removed from the arteries via a small neck incision along with medical management. Dr. Fenwick Nichols – a stroke specialist and director of the Vascular Neurology Fellowship at MCG and AU Health – explains that both approaches work, but they want to know which works better.
There are 120 sites nationally that are enrolling nearly 2,500 participants in a study that will follow those participants with a 70 percent or greater blockage over the course of four years. Dr. Nichols and his team are working with primary care providers to provide the best medical practices for stroke prevention while MCG cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon, Dr. Gautum Agarwal, is performing the carotid endarterectomies at the Augusta center, where study participants are being randomized to one of the two treatment regimens.
For more information about the study, please contact the neurology research coordinator, Natalie Bishop, at 706-721-2675 or visit their website.