• Hypertension following carotid endarterectomy occurs frequently but is poorly understood. Its occurrence has been correlated with an increased incidence of neurologic complication. We identified those factors that correlate with an increased incidence of post—carotid endarterectomy hypertension. The records of 100 patients who underwent carotid endarterectomy at UCLA Medical Center from November 1981 to September 1983 were examined. One hundred fifty variables were surveyed to determine those factors associated with this problem. Fifty-eight percent of the study patients developed post—carotid endarterectomy hypertension (an increase in systolic blood pressure greater than 35 mm Hg over baseline, and/or blood pressure requiring treatment with sodium nitroprusside). Of patients who developed this problem, 93% had diabetes mellitus, 75% received isoflurane anesthesia, 71% had peripheral vascular occlusive disease, 71% underwent ipsilateral transient ischemic attacks, and 65% had high-grade ipsilateral carotid stenosis. These variables have in common the loss of or interference with cerebral autoregulation. Central dysautoregulation may set the stage for a positive feedback mechanism that results in increased blood pressure. Anesthetic agents that do not interfere with cerebral auto-regulation may reduce the incidence of this complication, and an aggressive treatment program may prevent neurologic complications.
(Arch Surg 1987;122:1153-1155)