Carotid Stenting without Angioplasty and without Protection: The Advantages of a Less Invasive Procedure

Interv Neuroradiol. 2008 Jun 30;14(2):153-63. doi: 10.1177/159101990801400206. Epub 2008 Jun 30.


Endovascular stenting is a consolidated alternative to thrombendarterectomy in the treatment of extracranial carotid artery atheromasic stenosis. The most common complication of stenting is a distal embolism causing clinically silent orsymptomatic cerebral ischaemia. To prevent this complication distal embolism protection devices are often used but their effectiveness remains unsettled. In addition, there is some evidence that distal embolism may actually be triggered by the protection systems due to clot formationat their distal surface or in the intimal lesions these systems cause. Another rarer complicationis hyperperfusion syndrome arising during both stenting and thrombendarterectomy but more common in endovascular procedures. To avoid these complications the Neuroradiology Service at Bellaria Hospital (Bologna Local Health Trust) has devised a mini-invasive carotid stenting technique that does not require either distal embolism protection or angioplasty. The technique uses only the radial force exerted by the self-expanding stent to widen the atherosclerotic stenosis slowly and gradually. The goal of treatment has also changed from a prompt restoration of the atheromasic vessel's original calibre to slow transformation of the hemodynamic significance of the stenosis. The technique's success lies mainly in selecting the stenosis to treat using CT angiography to analyse plaque morphology and structure.We used the technique to treat 83 stenotic lesions in 75 patients. The study aims to describe and discussour experience.