Wingspan stenting of symptomatic extracranial vertebral artery stenosis and perioperative evaluation using quantitative magnetic resonance angiography: report of two cases

Neurosurg Focus. 2008;24(2):E14. doi: 10.3171/FOC/2008/24/2/E14.


The best management strategy for symptomatic vertebrobasilar ischemia is currently not well-defined. Noninvasive Optimal Vessel Analysis (NOVA, VasSol, Inc.) is computer software that, using quantitative magnetic resonance (MR) angiography technology, represents the only commercially available means of noninvasively measuring blood flow within the human vasculature. The author used quantitative MR angiography to study cerebral blood flow in 2 patients who underwent angioplasty and stenting for medically refractory extracranial cervical vertebral artery (VA) stenosis using the recently Food and Drug Administration-approved WingSpan stent (Boston Scientific, Target). WingSpan stents were successfully placed after balloon angioplasty in both patients without complications. At the 5-month clinical follow-up examination, 1 patient was symptom free and the other had had a possible transient ischemic attack without sequelae. The WingSpan stent may represent an alternative management scheme for symptomatic vertebrobasilar ischemia from extracranial VA stenosis. Quantitative MR angiography can readily measure blood flow in the vertebrobasilar system, and these values correlated with the angiographic outcomes in the 2 patients treated in the present study.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Angioplasty, Balloon*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Stents*
  • Vertebrobasilar Insufficiency / diagnosis*
  • Vertebrobasilar Insufficiency / physiopathology
  • Vertebrobasilar Insufficiency / surgery*