MRI audit of complications in intracranial stenosis treated with Wingspan device

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To evaluate the safety and efficacy of the Wingspan device for the treatment of symptomatic intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis (ICAS).


We audited a prospective ongoing database of consecutive patients who received Wingspan stenting between January 2013 and December 2015. All patients underwent MRI to audit any complications during the early follow-up period. We focused on the clinical demographics, lesion characteristics, treatment results, and periprocedural complications. Functional outcomes were measured with the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) at discharge and after 3 months.


Intracranial stenting was performed in 50 patients (100%). Mean stenosis pre-stenting was 76.5±13.1% and post-stenting residual stenosis was 19.8±13.8%. The overall 30-day rate of procedure-related complications was 6.0% (3/50). Two patients (4%) developed in-stent restenosis, one of whom had a dissection at the middle cerebral artery. Interestingly, on the follow-up MRI scan there was a high incidence of asymptomatic diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) hyperintensities, 46% (23/50) presumed to be due to microembolic causes. At the 90-day, 180-day, and 1-year follow-up, three patients had further strokes resulting in a total complication rate of 12%. 92% had excellent outcomes (mRS 0–1) and only one patient had deterioration of his mRS score.


ICAS treated by Wingspan stenting using pre-placement balloon angioplasty appears safe and effective with a high technical success rate and favorable outcomes. There is a high incidence of asymptomatic DWI hyperintensites post-procedure, but these do not appear to result in long-term sequelae.

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