Efficacy of stent angioplasty for symptomatic stenoses of the proximal vertebral artery

Eur J Radiol. 2005 Nov;56(2):240-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2005.05.009. Epub 2005 Jun 14.


Background: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of stent angioplasty in the treatment of symptomatic arteriosclerotic stenoses of the proximal vertebral artery (VA).

Methods: Thirty-eight symptomatic stenoses of the vertebral origin were treated with flexible balloon-expandable coronary stents. Angiographic and clinical follow-up examinations were obtained in 26 patients at a mean of 11 months.

Results: The immediate post-procedural angiographic results showed no residual stenosis in 33 vessels and mild residual stenoses in five vessels. Periprocedurally, there were two asymptomatic technical complications and one TIA. During follow-up re-stenosis could be detected in 10 cases (36%), and vessel occlusions in two patients. Two stents were broken. One of the restenosis caused a TIA within the follow-up period.

Conclusions: Flexible balloon-expandable coronary stents proved to be save and effective in preventing vertebrobasilar stroke but were incapable to preserve the proximal vertebral artery lumen. For the VA origine an adequate stent, self-expanding, bioresorbable, or drug-eluting has to be found.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction
  • Angioplasty, Balloon / methods*
  • Arteriosclerosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Arteriosclerosis / therapy*
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Equipment Failure
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Complications
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Safety
  • Stents*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vertebral Artery Dissection / etiology
  • Vertebrobasilar Insufficiency / diagnostic imaging
  • Vertebrobasilar Insufficiency / therapy*