Small vessel stents for intracranial angioplasty: in vitro evaluation of in-stent stenoses using CT angiography

Neuroradiology. 2004 Jun;46(6):459-63. doi: 10.1007/s00234-004-1205-3. Epub 2004 May 1.


Our aim was to determine whether CT angiography is suitable for the evaluation of in-stent restenoses in small vessel stents for intracranial angioplasty. Therefore, we simulated stenoses with degrees of 25, 50, 75 and 90% in a total of 12 stents with different designs (MEDTRONIC AVE; ABBOT BioDivYsio, GUIDANT Neurolink, TERUMO Tsunami, COOK V-Flex Plus) and sizes (3.0 mm, 4.0 mm). For each stenosis, the apparent stenotic degree (ASD) was measured by CT angiography. Subjective (viewing at the CT images) and objective (acquisition of a density profile) evaluations were made after the stents were filled with a solution of 0.9% NaCl and with a diluted contrast medium. It was not possible to visualize the patent lumen in any of the stenotic stent segments by viewing at the CT images. After objective evaluation, the degree of the stenoses was generally overestimated. In the group with the 3.0-mm stents, ASD ranged from 73.6 to 100% in 25% degree stenoses. With the exception of one stent, stenoses with a degree of more than 25% appeared as vessel obstruction (ASD = 100%) in the 3.0-mm group. In the 4.0-mm group, the mean ASD was 60% for 25% degree stenoses, 76% for 50% degree stenoses, 91% for 75% degree stenoses and 96% for 95% degree stenoses. The minimum diameter of stents for differentiation between in-stent restenosis and vessel occlusion using CT angiography is 4.0 mm. In CT angiography, the degrees of in-stent stenoses are generally overestimated. The evaluation of in-stent restenoses only seems to be possible when CT angiographic images before and after contrast application are evaluated objectively by density profiles.

MeSH terms

  • Angioplasty, Balloon*
  • Cerebral Angiography*
  • Constriction, Pathologic / therapy
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arterial Diseases / therapy
  • Stents*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*