Stenting of symptomatic intracranial stenosis using balloon mounted coronary stents: a single center experience

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Intracranial atherosclerotic disease is the cause of up to 10% of ischemic strokes and transient ischemic attacks. Intracranial stenting with off-label balloon mounted coronary stents (BMCS) may be a viable alternative for patients with symptomatic intracranial stenosis who fail best medical therapy.


Between December 2005 and June 2012, 42 symptomatic intracranial stenoses were treated with a BMCS after failing medical management. Procedural records, clinical outcomes, and imaging follow-up were reviewed. Outcome measurements included technical success rate, morbidity and mortality, long term stent patency, and clinical outcomes, as measured by the modified Rankin Scale.


The technical success rate was 98% (41 of 42 lesions). Morbidity within the first 30 days was 7.1% (three of 42 lesions). Overall morbidity, including both periprocedural and long term evaluation, was 9.5% (four of 42 lesions). There were no deaths. Follow-up imaging was available for 30 stents (71%) with an average follow-up time of 35.1 months. Restenosis (>50%) and retreatment were observed in 20% and 10% of cases, respectively. Clinical evaluation by a neurologist ≥30 days postprocedure was available in 40 of 42 cases (95%) with an average of 32.1 months. At presentation, 55% of patients had a modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score of ≤2. At follow-up, 74% of patients were found to have an mRS score of ≤2.


This study suggests that BMCS may benefit patients with symptomatic intracranial stenosis who experience stroke or transient ischemic attack in spite of best medical therapy.

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