BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Against the background of a relatively low rate of clinical events during carotid angioplasty and stenting (CAS) or carotid endarterectomy (CEA), diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) is increasingly being used to compare the incidence of new ischemic lesions after both procedures. In addition, DWI may also provide a means of defining the role of different CAS techniques on this adverse outcome. Therefore, we performed a PubMed search and systematically analyzed all peer-reviewed studies published between January 1990 and June 2007 reporting on the occurrence of new DWI lesions after CAS or CEA. Summary of Review- In 32 studies comprising 1363 CAS and 754 CEA procedures, the incidence of any new DWI lesion was significantly higher after CAS (37%) than after CEA (10%) (P<0.01). Similar results were obtained in a meta-analysis focusing on those studies directly comparing the incidence of new DWI lesions after either CEA or CAS (OR, 6.1; 95% CI, 4.19 to 8.87; P<0.01). The use of cerebral protection devices (33% vs 45% without; P<0.01) and closed-cell designed stents during CAS (31% vs 51% with open-cell stents; P<0.01), as well as selective versus routine shunt usage during CEA (6% vs 16%; P<0.01) significantly reduced the incidence of new ipsilateral DWI lesions. CONCLUSIONS New DWI lesions occur more frequently after CAS than after CEA. However, technical advances mainly in the field of endovascular therapy potentially reduce the incidence of these adverse ischemic events. In this scenario, DWI appears to be an ideal tool to compare and further improve both techniques.