After a period of experimenting with angioplasty and stenting, carotid artery stenting under embolic protection (PCAS) is becoming a viable alternative for carotid endarterectomy (CEA). A standard literature review showed that, at January 2005, there was no evidence that PCAS is more effective than CEA. The high costs of stent and protection device makes PCAS then inferior to CEA. PCAS may be the sole possible option in patients with symptomatic carotid artery stenosis unfit for surgery, where the high risk of stroke overrides uncertainty about health effects and overrides cost-effectiveness. These are a few patients per year in Belgium. Several randomised controlled trials comparing PCAS and CEA are now recruiting patients. To have answers on key questions of cost-effectiveness, it is of paramount importance that these trials recruit and publish rapidly. The KCE (Belgian HealthCare Knowledge Center/Centre Fédéral d'Expertise des Soins de Santé/Federaal Kenniscentrum voor de Gezondheidszorg) therefore advises cooperation with these trials. Outside these trials and compassionate use in the few symptomatic patients unfit for CEA, the use of PCAS raises serious ethical questions.