Purpose: To present our experience with carotid artery stenting as an alternative treatment to endarterectomy in patients with radiation-induced carotid artery occlusive disease.
Methods and results: Fourteen patients (10 males; mean age 61 years, range 52 to 79) underwent percutaneous stenting of 15 carotid arteries for severe radiation-induced extracranial stenoses. Technical success was achieved in all patients, with reduction of the mean stenosis from 77% +/- 6% to 8% +/- 2%. In 2 patients, ipsilateral vertebral artery lesions were stented concomitantly. One patient had a minor stroke after the procedure but recovered fully in 2 days. No other complications were encountered. Nine (64%) patients had 6-month follow-up imaging (angiography or duplex scanning) that showed no evidence of restenoses (obstruction > or = 50%). At 18 +/- 2 months, 3 (21%) patients had died from unrelated causes. No neurological events occurred, and no repeat carotid artery interventions were required in the remaining patients.
Conclusions: Carotid stenting is an effective treatment option for severe radiation-induced carotid artery occlusive disease.