Vertebral artery origin angioplasty and primary stenting: Safety and restenosis rates in a prospective series

G. C. Cloud, F. Crawley, A. Clifton, D. J.H. McCabe, M. M. Brown, Hugh S. Markus

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Objectives: To report a single centre ongoing experience of endovascular treatment for atherosclerotic vertebral artery origin stenosis in a series of symptomatic patients, with follow up imaging to determine the incidence of restenosis. Methods: 14 patients with vertebral artery origin stenosis on catheter angiography were treated. Angioplasty without stenting was undertaken in the first four patients, all of whom had follow up catheter angiography at one year. Subsequently, patients were treated by primary stenting and followed up with colour Doppler ultrasound examination. Results: The procedure was technically successful in all treated arteries, with no immediate complications. The degree of stenosis was reduced from (mean (SD)) 73 (18)% before treatment to 21 (26)% immediately after treatment in the angioplasty alone group (p = 0.059). In the primary stenting patients, the severity of stenosis was reduced from 82 (8)% to 13 (13)% immediately after treatment (p < 0.001). Restenosis to 70% or greater occurred at one year in all four patients initially treated by angioplasty without stenting. One patient subsequently developed further symptoms and was retreated by stenting. One of the 10 patients treated by primary stenting developed restenosis. None of the remaining patients had further posterior circulation ischaemic symptoms during a mean follow up period of 33.6 months (range 1 to 72 months). Conclusions: Restenosis occurs often after vertebral artery origin balloon angioplasty without stenting but is uncommon after stenting. Primary stenting is therefore recommended to maintain patency at this site, and had a low complication rate in this series.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)586-590
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2003
Externally publishedYes

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