Introduction: Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty with stenting (PTAS) has been considered a potential alternative to carotid endarterectomy (CEA) for stroke prevention. Interventionalists have suggested that PTAS carries less anesthetic risk than CEA. The treatment of carotid stenosis with local or regional anesthesia (LRA) allows direct intraprocedural neurologic evaluation and avoids the potential risks of general anesthesia. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the clinical charts of 377 patients who underwent 414 procedures for the elective treatment of carotid stenosis in 433 cerebral hemispheres with LRA between August 1994 and May 1997. Group I (312 hemispheres) underwent PTAS, and group II (121 hemispheres) underwent CEA. Results: The indications for treatment included the following: asymptomatic severe stenosis (n = 272; 62.8%), transient ischemic attack (TIA; n = 100; 23.1%), and prior stroke (n = 61; 14.1%). The early neurologic results for the patients in group I (n = 268) included 11 TIAs (4.1%), 23 strokes (8.6%), and 3 deaths (1.1%). The early neurologic results for the patients in group II (n = 109) included 2 TIAs (1.8%), one stroke (0.9%), and no deaths. The total stroke and death rates were 9.7% for the patients in group I and 0.9% for the patients in group II (P = .0015). The cardiopulmonary events that led to additional monitoring were evident after 96 procedures in group I (32.8%) and 21 procedures in group II (17.4%; P = .002). Conclusion: PTAS carries a higher neurologic risk and requires more monitoring than CEA in the treatment of patients with carotid artery stenosis with LRA. The proposed benefit for the use of PTAS to avoid general anesthesia cannot be justified when com- pared with CEA performed with LRA.