Inclusion Criteria- In brief, patients are eligible if they have experienced a carotid TIA or non disabling stroke within 4 months before randomisation and if they have an atherosclerotic stenosis of the region of the ipsilateral carotid bifurcation of 60% or more, as determined by the North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial (NASCET) method, that investigators believe is suitable for both carotid endarterectomy and endovascular treatment. The degree of stenosis warranting treatment initially set at 70% or more was subsequently set at 60% or greater to reflect current generally accepted practice in the treatment of symptomatic carotid stenosis. The presence of a 60% or more ipsilateral carotid stenosis has to be confirmed by conventional digital subtraction angiography or the combination of carotid Duplex scanning and magnetic resonance angiography, provided the results of these non-invasive techniques are concordant.
Exclusion Criteria- Patients cannot be included if they have a disabling stroke (mRS >=3), a non atherosclerotic carotid disease, a severe intracranial carotid artery stenosis, contra-indications to heparin, ticlopidine or clopidogrel.
- There is no age limit.
- The presence of contralateral occlusion and/or the angiographic appearance of the stenotic lesion are not factors in treatment selection. The randomisation algorithm takes centre and degree of stenosis (more or less than 90% stenosis) into account. Patients must be treated as soon as possible after random assignment, in any case within 2 weeks of randomisation.