USPSTF to revisit carotid artery stenosis screening

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) plans to review its guidelines on the use of imaging to screen patients for asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis.

Under a recommendation released in December 2007, USPSTF recommended against screening for asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis in the general adult population.

The task force plans to revisit that policy with the current review. It's proposing to investigate questions such as whether there is direct evidence that screening adults with imaging modalities such as duplex ultrasonography, CT angiography (CTA), and/or MR angiography (MRA) for asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis reduces fatal or nonfatal ipsilateral stroke.

Among other questions, the investigators will also seek to determine the accuracy and reliability of screening with duplex ultrasonography, used alone or followed by CTA or MRA, to detect potentially clinically important carotid artery stenosis.

The full draft research plan can be found here and is available for comment until February 11 at 5 p.m. ET. Once final, the research plan will be used to guide a systematic evidence review by researchers, USPSTF said. The resulting evidence report will then form the basis of the USPSTF recommendation statement on the topic.

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