Background and purpose: The current report details our initial periprocedural experience with Wingspan (Boston Scientific/Target), the first self-expanding stent system designed for the treatment of intracranial atheromatous disease.
Methods: All patients undergoing angioplasty and stenting with the Gateway balloon-Wingspan stent system were prospectively tracked.
Results: During a 9-month period, treatment with the stent system was attempted in 78 patients (average age, 63.6 years; 33 women) with 82 intracranial atheromatous lesions, of which 54 were > or =70% stenotic. Eighty-one of 82 lesions were successfully stented (98.8%) during the first treatment session. In 1 case, the stent could not be delivered across the lesion; the patient was treated solely with angioplasty and stented at a later date. Lesions treated involved the internal carotid (n=32; 8 petrous, 10 cavernous, 11 supraclinoid segment, 3 terminus), vertebral (n=14; V4 segment), basilar (n=14), and middle cerebral (n=22) arteries. Mean+/-SD pretreatment stenosis was 74.6+/-13.9%, improving to 43.5+/-18.1% after balloon angioplasty and to 27.2+/-16.7% after stent placement. Of the 82 lesions treated, there were 5 (6.1%) major periprocedural neurological complications, 4 of which ultimately led to patient death within 30 days of the procedure.
Conclusions: Angioplasty and stenting for symptomatic intracranial atheromatous disease can be performed with the Gateway balloon-Wingspan stent system with a high rate of technical success and acceptable periprocedural morbidity. Our initial experience indicates that this procedure represents a viable treatment option for this patient population.