Intracranial venous sinus stenting for benign intracranial hypertension: clinical indications, technique, and preliminary results

World Neurosurg. 2011 May-Jun;75(5-6):648-52; discussion 592-5. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2010.11.012.


Objective: The cause of pseudotumor cerebri, or benign intracranial hypertension (BIH), is controversial. We report our results from 18 cases of venous sinus stenting (VSS), the largest series in the literature, with specific focus on the rate of technical success, amelioration of the subjective symptom of headache, attendant complications, and radiographic patency on follow-up.

Methods: Review of our prospectively maintained database identified 18 patients who had undergone 19 VSS procedures for the placement of 30 stents in the past 2.5 years. Indications for treatment included a clinical diagnosis of BIH with venographic demonstration of stenosis.

Results: VSS was technically successful in all patients (100%). No patient suffered a permanent complication. Three patients were lost to follow-up. The remaining 15 patients were followed clinically and asked to rate their headache severity on a scale of 1 to 10 both before and after VSS. Overall, 12 patients (80%) qualified their headaches as better after VSS, two stated that they were the same, and one patient said that they were worse. Of 14 patients who underwent follow-up angiography, all demonstrated normal patency of the stented segments. In one of these patients, stenosis was detected on follow-up in the unstented segment of the sigmoid sinus and jugular bulb.

Conclusions: VSS is highly effective (80%) in ameliorating headache associated with BIH. The procedure is associated with a high rate of technical success (100%), a low rate of permanent complications (0), and a high rate of stent patency on follow-up angiography (100%).

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anesthesia, General
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Cerebral Veins / surgery*
  • Child
  • Endovascular Procedures
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Headache / etiology
  • Humans
  • Lost to Follow-Up
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / diagnostic imaging
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / surgery*
  • Stents*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult