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Abstract: Carotid artery stenting technologies are rapidly evolving. Options for endovascular surgeons and interventionists who treat occlusive carotid disease continue to expand. We here present an update and overview of carotid stenting devices. Evidence supporting carotid stenting includes randomized controlled trials that compare endovascular stenting to open surgical endarterectomy. Carotid technologies addressed include the carotid stents themselves as well as adjunct neuroprotective devices. Aspects of stent technology include bare-metal versus covered stents, stent tapering, and free-cell area. Drug-eluting and cutting balloon indications are described. Embolization protection options and new direct carotid access strategies are reviewed. Adjunct technologies, such as intravascular ultrasound imaging and risk stratification algorithms, are discussed. Bare-metal and covered stents provide unique advantages and disadvantages. Stent tapering may allow for a more fitted contour to the caliber decrement between the common carotid and internal carotid arteries but also introduces new technical challenges. Studies regarding free-cell area are conflicting with respect to benefits and associated risk; clinical relevance of associated adverse effects associated with either type is unclear. Embolization protection strategies include distal filter protection and flow reversal. Though flow reversal was initially met with some skepticism, it has gained wider acceptance and may provide the advantage of not crossing the carotid lesion before protection is established. New direct carotid access techniques address difficult anatomy and incorporate sophisticated flow-reversal embolization protection techniques. Carotid stenting is a new and exciting field with rapidly advancing technologies. Embolization protection, low-risk deployment, and lesion assessment and stratification are active areas of research. Ample room remains for further innovations and developments.
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