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Doctors may now have more reason to refer their chronic kidney disease patients to surgery for a blocked carotid artery. A University of Western Ontario study suggests that a carotid endarterectomy can reduce the risk of stroke in kidney disease patients by 82 percent. Additionally, researchers concluded that the risk of death was not increased for patients who underwent the surgery.

“We hope the results of our study inform physicians about the appropriateness of carotid endarterectomy surgery for their patients with kidney disease,” Amit Garg, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Western Ontario, and co-author of the study, was quoted as saying. Researchers analyzed data from 524 chronic kidney disease patients and 966 healthy participants, looking specifically at the benefits and risks of the surgery, which is currently recommended for those who develop blocked arteries.

Doctors hesitate to suggest surgery to patients with chronic kidney disease due to their high risk of death after invasive surgeries. This study proposes the surgery is safe and beneficial for such patients.

SOURCE: Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 2009

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