Background: A wide variety of treatment regimens have been advocated for dissections involving the intracranial arteries. Recently, the stent can be used to exclude the aneurysm from the circulation and preserve the parent artery. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of stent angioplasty for intracranial arterial dissections.
Methods: Ten patients with spontaneous dissections, nine vertebral artery and one internal carotid artery lesions underwent endovascular treatment using stent placement as primary treatment modality. One stent placement was attempted in five patients initially. Three patients were intentionally treated with two overlapping stents which completely covered the aneurysm orifice. Two tandem stents were used in one patient to allow spanning the entire length of the dissection. Stent-assisted coil embolization was performed in one patient.
Results: Of the 10 patients in whom stenting was tried, the overall success in reaching the target lesion with stents was 90%. Of the 9 patients treated with stents, stent release and positioning were considered optimal in 7 patients (77.8%) and suboptimal in two. Lesions of 8 patients were improved or stable in angiographic follow-up. However, one pseudo-aneurysm was enlarged, and subsequently, was treated by proximal occlusion using coils. There were no instances of postprocedural ischaemic attacks, new neurological deficits, and no new minor or major strokes prior to patient discharge. All parent arteries of the patient who underwent the successful procedure were preserved. On the modified Rankin scale used for the follow up, all patients were assessed as functionally improved or of stable clinical status.
Conclusions: The success in reducing dissection-induced stenosis or pseudo-aneurysm, the patency rate obtained at follow-up, and the lack of strokes (ischaemic or haemorrhagic) suggest that stent placement offers a viable alternative to complex surgical procedures or deconstructive procedures. The long-term efficacy and durability of stent placement for arterial dissection remains to be determined in a large series.