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Max Kole, Beejal Amin, Horia Marin, Andrew Russman and William Sanders

Object

The authors reviewed their experience in 7 cases of nonacute intracranial occlusions and near occlusions in which the patients underwent intracranial angioplasty and stent implantation for direct cerebral revascularization.

Methods

Between 2005 and 2008, 4 men and 3 women underwent direct cerebral revascularization of nonacute intracerebral occlusions or near occlusions. Five patients had chronic angiographically documented occlusion and 2 patients had chronic angiographically documented near occlusions. The locations of the treated vessels included 2 supraclinoid internal carotid arteries, 4 middle cerebral arteries, and 1 vertebral artery. Prior to intervention, all patients were symptomatic and experienced strokes ipsilateral to their occlusions. In addition, all patients had clinical or radiographic evidence of ongoing hemodynamic compromise. Five patients underwent successful intracranial angioplasty and stent placement and 2 patients underwent successful intracranial balloon angioplasty alone. The mean time from documented vessel occlusion to treatment was 35 days. All patients had successful revascularization determined using the Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction (TICI) scale: TICI Score 3, 2b, and 2a in 4, 2, and 1 patient, respectively, and the mean residual stenosis was 38%.

Results

After uneventful technical procedures, 1 patient suffered a perforator vessel stroke and 1 patient suffered a fatal hemorrhage. Mean modified Rankin Scale score of 2 (range 1–5) and mean Glasgow Outcome Scale score of 4 (range 1–6) were achieved during a mean clinical follow-up period of 399 days (range 1–840 days). Asymptomatic restenosis was documented in 4 patients, 1 underwent bypass retreatment, and 1 patient received repeated balloon angioplasty.

Conclusions

Combined intracranial angioplasty and stent placement is a potential treatment option in selected patients for the direct revascularization of nonacute intracranial occlusions and near occlusions. Whether this represents a substantial risk reduction compared with the best medical therapy or a long-lasting treatment option is unknown.