Objective: As stents for treating intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis may develop in-stent re-stenosis (ISR) in up to 30%, follow-up imaging is mandatory. Residual stenosis (RS) is not rare. We evaluated an optimised Flat Detector CT protocol with intravenous contrast material application (i.v. FD-CTA) for non-invasive follow-up.
Methods: In 12 patients with intracranial stents, follow-up imaging was performed using i.v. FD-CTA. MPR, subtracted MIP and VRT reconstructions were used to correlate to intra-arterial angiography (DSA). Two neuroradiologists evaluated the images in anonymous consensus reading and calculated the ISR or RS. Correlation coefficients and a Wilcoxon test were used for statistical analysis.
Results: In 4 patients, no stenosis was detected. In 6 patients RS and in two cases ISR by intima hyperplasia perfectly visible on MPR reconstructions of i.v. FD-CTA were detected. Wilcoxon's test showed no significant differences between the methods (p > 0.05). We found a high correlation with coefficients of the pairs DSA/ FD-CT MIP r = 0.91, DSA/ FD-CT MPR r = 0.82 and FD-CT MIP/ FD-CT MPR r = 0.8.
Conclusion: Intravenous FD-CTA could clearly visualise the stent and the lumen, allowing ISR or RS to be recognised. FD-CTA provides a non-invasive depiction of intracranial stents and might replace DSA for non-invasive follow-up imaging.