USPSTF: No Asymptomatic Carotid Artery Stenosis Screening
(HealthDay News) — The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends against screening for carotid artery stenosis in adults without a history of transient ischemic attack, stroke, or other neurological symptoms. These findings are presented in a final recommendation statement published online July 8 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Michael L. LeFevre, MD, MSPH, on behalf of the USPSTF, updated the 2007 recommendations on carotid artery stenosis screening. They commissioned a systematic evidence review to examine the accuracy of screening tests and externally validated risk stratification tools; the benefits and harms of asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis treatment with carotid endarterectomy or carotid angioplasty and stenting; and the benefits and harms of medications added to current standard medical treatment.
Based on the current evidence, the researchers recommend against asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis screening in the general adult population (Grade D recommendation). The findings apply to adults without a history of transient ischemic attack, stroke, or other neurological signs or symptoms.
"Such screenings are offered throughout the country in health fairs and other settings," writes the author of an accompanying editorial. "Potential consumers of these services should be aware that the test is unlikely to prevent them from having a stroke or to lead to improvements in their health."