Angioplasty and stenting in the posterior cerebral circulation

J Endovasc Ther. 2001 Dec;8(6):558-65. doi: 10.1177/152660280100800604.


Purpose: To report initial experience with intracranial vertebral artery (VA) and basilar artery (BA) percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) and stenting.

Methods: Eleven patients (10 men; mean age 66 years, range 56-75) with intracranial 14 VA and 3 BA stenoses were managed from December 1997 through November 1999. All patients presented with vertebrobasilar ischemia (VBI) despite antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapy. Clinical presentations included visual disturbance (n = 8), dysarthria/dysphasia (n = 5), and vertigo (n = 5).

Results: Five patients underwent PTA only of 7 lesions with a mean preprocedural stenosis of 80% (range 50%-90%) that was reduced to 54% (range 30%-70%) after dilation. Six patients received 9 stents, 2 for VA dissections, 3 for tandem lesions, and 1 for a BA lesion. There were no embolic strokes. Patients were followed by clinical evaluation and personal or telephone interviews. Over a mean 18-month follow-up (range 12-35), 8 (73%) patients remained asymptomatic, while 3 (27%) had permanent deficits, 2 related to the procedure and 1 owing to distal disease

Conclusions: Intracranial VA or BA angioplasty and stenting alleviated symptoms in patients with vertebrobasilar ischemia despite best medical management and may prevent stroke.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Angioplasty, Balloon / methods*
  • Basilar Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Stents*
  • Vertebral Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Vertebrobasilar Insufficiency / diagnostic imaging
  • Vertebrobasilar Insufficiency / therapy*