Functional status changes following medical or surgical treatment for cerebral ischemia. Results of the extracranial-intracranial bypass study
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To determine the value of extracranial-intracranial arterial anastomosis (EC/IC bypass), we randomly allocated 1377 patients with symptomatic atherosclerosis of the internal carotid or middle cerebral arteries to medical care alone or to EC/IC bypass with continuing medical care. As previously reported, surgery did not reduce--or significantly increase--the risk of stroke. Functional status data collected during the trial provide new information. Six weeks following entry, surgical patients showed greater dysfunction in the following activities: fluency of speech, getting in and out of bed, sitting down and standing up, toileting, cutting food and pouring beverages, and dressing and undressing. At 4.5 months, surgical patients still exhibited greater dysfunction in toileting, with nonsignificant trends in several other activities. From six months onward, there were no significant differences between the groups. Thus, EC/IC bypass results in transient worsening of functional status beyond the immediate perioperative period.
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