Objective: An effective intervention has not yet been established for patients with acute occlusion of the internal carotid artery (ICA). The aim of our study was to investigate the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of emergent stent placement of carotid artery to improve neurologic symptoms and clinical outcome.
Methods: Of 84 consecutive patients with severe ICA stenosis who were admitted to our institution from March 2006 to May 2009, 10 patients with acute ICA occlusion (11.9%) underwent emergency carotid artery stent placement. We reviewed their records for neurologic outcome using the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score, before and at 7 days after stent placement; clinical outcome using the modified Rankin Scale score (mRS) and Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS); frequency of procedure-related complications; and recurrence rate of ipsilateral ischemic stroke within 90 days.
Results: Carotid lesions were dilated completely in all patients. Median NIHSS scores before emergency stent placement and at 7 days were 16.6 and 6, respectively, showing significant improvement. Eight patients (80%) had favorable outcomes (mRS score 0-2 and GOS 4-5). Complications occurred in two patients (20%): stent insertion failed in one and an intracerebral hemorrhage occurred in the other. Ipsilateral ischemic stroke did not recur within 3 months.
Conclusion: Emergency carotid artery stent placement can improve the 7-day neurologic outcome and the 90-day clinical outcome in selected patients with acute cerebral infarction.
Keywords: Carotid stenosis; Cerebral infarction; Stent.