We evaluated the usefulness of intracranial stent implantation for treating patients with atherosclerotic stenosis and with recurrent, ischemic, neurological symptoms despite having undergone medical therapy.
Materials and Methods
Between March 2004 and April 2010, we attempted intracranial, stent-assisted angioplasty in 77 patients with 85 lesions (anterior circulation 73 cases, posterior circulation 12 cases) and who had ischemic neurological symptoms with more than 50% major cerebral artery stenosis. We analyzed the results regarding the technical success rate, complication rate, and restenosis rate during the mean 29.4 month follow-up period.
Intracranial stent implantation was successfully performed in 74 cases (87.1%). In nine cases among the 11, failed cases, stent implantation failure was due to the tortuosity of the target vessel. One patient experienced middle cerebral artery rupture during the procedure, and we embolized the vessel using a microcoil. Five patients developed cerebral infarction in three weeks after the procedure, three of whom improved using conservative management, although the other, two patients expired. The mean number of residual stenoses decreased from 72.3% to 14.7%. Three patients demonstrated significant in-stent restenosis, i.e. more than 50%, during the follow-up period.
As stent-assisted angioplasty in intracranial, atherosclerotic stenosis is effective and relatively safe, it can be considered as an alternative treatment for patients with recurrent, ischemic, neurologic symptoms despite having undergone medical therapy.