A reappraisal of angioplasty and stenting for the treatment of vertebral origin stenosis

Neurosurgery. 2003 Sep;53(3):607-14; discussion 614-6. doi: 10.1227/01.neu.0000079494.87390.28.


Objective: To assess the rate of restenosis after vertebral origin angioplasty and stenting (VOAS).

Methods: We reviewed the records of 33 patients (24 men, 9 women; age range, 49-81 yr; mean, 64.5 yr) who underwent VOAS during a period of 5 years and followed each for the development of adverse sequelae through a prospectively maintained database. A neuroradiologist not involved in the stenting procedures assessed original and follow-up angiograms for evidence of restenosis. Restenosis was quantified as insignificant (0-24%), mild (25-49%), moderate (50-74%), or severe (75-100%).

Results: Of the 33 patients, 30 presented with transient ischemic attacks or stroke. Most (31 of 33 patients) manifested other brachiocephalic stenoses, including 27 patients with occlusion, hypoplasia, or stenosis of the contralateral vertebral artery. Angiographic follow-up (mean, 16.2 mo) was obtained in 30 patients (2 patients died before follow-up, and 1 refused). Restenosis was mild in seven patients, moderate in eight, and severe in five. The combined rate of moderate-to-severe restenosis was 43.3%. No complications resulted in permanent morbidity. One patient died as a result of a stroke in a different vascular distribution 4 months after VOAS. Another patient died as a result of basilar thrombosis in which emergent stenting had been undertaken in an effort to perform thrombolysis.

Conclusion: Despite a technical success rate of 97% and a low incidence of complications, VOAS is associated with a high rate of moderate-to-severe restenosis.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angioplasty / adverse effects*
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation / adverse effects*
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Graft Occlusion, Vascular / diagnostic imaging
  • Graft Occlusion, Vascular / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stents / adverse effects*
  • Vertebrobasilar Insufficiency / diagnostic imaging
  • Vertebrobasilar Insufficiency / surgery*