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This report reviews the literature concerning the effectiveness and risks of carotid endarterectomy, provides a comprehensive list of potential indications, and presents ratings of appropriateness and necessity of this surgical procedure by a panel of experts. The literature review covered articles published from 1966 to 1990. An "appropriate" procedure was defined as one for which the expected health benefits to an average patient exceed the expected health risks and is superior to the alternative treatments (including no treatment). Such a procedure was also defined as "necessary" when a physician is obliged to recommend it to a patient as the preferred treatment option.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Joint report health series. The joint report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1988 to 1993 that included documents published jointly with other organizations, which transmitted major research findings and final research.

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