Purpose: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of a balloon-mounted drug-eluting stent (DES) for recurrent carotid in-stent stenosis (ISS).
Methods: As part of our targeted carotid artery stenting (TARGET-CAS) protocol, neurological and ultrasound evaluations have been performed at 3, 6, and 12 months and then annually since 2001 in all carotid stent patients. For angiographically-confirmed >70% ISS, balloon angioplasty was performed as a first-line treatment. Recurrent ISS was treated with a 4.0-mm zotarolimus-eluting coronary stent (ZES) that was postdilated according to intravascular ultrasound imaging. Among the 1350 neuroprotected CAS procedures performed between January 2001 and March 2011, there were 7 (0.52%) patients (5 men; ages 51-72 years), all neurologically asymptomatic, with >70% recurrent ISS that occurred at 5 to 11 months after the initial balloon angioplasty treatment for ISS.
Results: ZES implantation under distal embolic protection was technically successful and uncomplicated. Angiographic stenosis was reduced from 84.6%±7.5% to 10.7%±3.6% (p<0.01). In 5 patients with ZES implanted fully within the self-expanding carotid stent, duplex ultrasound follow-up (mean 17 months, range 6-36) revealed no evidence of restenosis or stent fracture/deformation. In the 2 other patients, the ZES had been implanted for distal edge ISS such that the ZES protruded beyond the original carotid stent. This protruding segment of the ZES demonstrated deformation/kinking in both; in one, this led to symptomatic stent occlusion.
Conclusion: The use of coronary ZES in the treatment of recurrent carotid ISS is feasible and appears effective provided the ZES is placed entirely within the original stent. Placement of a coronary ZES outside the carotid stent scaffold should be avoided.