USPSTF publishes research plan for carotid screening

By staff writers

November 15, 2019 -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has published its final research plan for its review of screening for asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis, an exam that typically involves the use of ultrasound to detect signs of stenosis before a stroke can occur.

The USPSTF in August 2019 published a draft research plan for carotid screening as part of its five-year review of a previous guidance published in 2014. At that time, the USPSTF gave the procedure a letter grade of D, recommending against its use in asymptomatic individuals.

During the comment period on the draft research plan, the USPSTF received comments on the selection of clinical outcomes, the importance of high-risk populations, and the presence of ongoing research in this area. The task force therefore modified the research plan to indicate that all types of surgical repair will be considered and that cognitive function will be included as an outcome.

The task force also said that while it recognizes the importance of assessing the benefits and harms of screening in high-risk populations, it plans to focus the current update on unselected, generally asymptomatic adults in primary care settings.

Copyright © 2019

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