Extracranial Revascularization Therapy: Angioplasty and Stenting

Curr Treat Options Cardiovasc Med. 2004 Jun;6(3):179-192. doi: 10.1007/s11936-996-0012-z.


Beginning with simple balloon angioplasty, minimally invasive revascularization techniques have progressed to the use of metallic stents for improved immediate and long-term results. Stent-supported angioplasty now offers a therapeutic option for those individuals ineligible for surgical revascularization of stenotic atherosclerotic lesions and who have failed maximal medical therapy. However, the clinical equivalence, or possibly even superiority, of angioplasty of the extracranial carotid and vertebral arteries in atheromatous occlusive disease over surgical revascularization has yet to be determined in ongoing randomized controlled trials. Additionally, endovascular techniques offer treatment for a variety of nonatherosclerotic disease affecting the extracranial arteries, such as inflammatory, radiation-induced, and postsurgical strictures; acute intimal dissection; traumatic and spontaneous arteriovenous fistulas; and aneurysms or pseudoaneurysms. For certain disease entities at high risk for surgical complications, endovascular procedures have gained preference as the therapeutic modality of choice, yet lacking controlled trials providing evidence for noninferiority against surgical approach. Continued innovation and refinement of endovascular technology and techniques will further improve technical success, reduce procedure-related morbidity, and broaden the endovascular therapeutic spectrum for extracranial and intracranial cerebrovascular disease.