Aim: Carotid artery angioplasty and stenting (CAS) has emerged as an alternative treatment for extra cranial carotid artery stenosis in stroke prevention. Nevertheless concerns are remaining about the long-term durability as hemodynamic in-stent restenosis (ISR) after CAS are increasing and usually treated again by endovascular approach. This preliminary study, instead, albeit in a limited series, reports our safe and successful experience of the surgical correction of carotid ISR after CAS.
Methods: From January 2003 to June 2011 seven patients with severe hemodynamic carotid ISR (three symptomatic, four asymptomatic, mean age 76±2), were submitted to surgical operation to remove the carotid stent. The indications for CAS were primary in five cases, secondary to restenosis after carotid endarterectomy (CEA) in two patients. Standard CEA with complete removal of the stent and the entire atherosclerotic plaque was carried out easy and without technical difficulty in the five primary ISR. In the two patients of ISR in post-CEA restenosis, a common carotid to the distal internal carotid artery (ICA) bypass with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) graft was carried out. Mean operation time was 88±26 min. All interventions were performed under general anesthesia with remifentanil preserved consciousness.
Results: No death or major complications occurred. Temporary vocal cord impairment by deficit of recurrent inferior laryngeal nerve in one patient with ISR after CAS performed to treat post-CEA restenosis was observed. Intimal hyperplasia was the predominant mechanism to ISR. The mean follow-up of 18 months (range, 4 to 36 months) showed a normal patency of the surgical correction without recurrent restenosis on color-coded duplex ultrasounds (US) examinations.
Conclusion: The surgical management of carotid ISR appears feasible and effective leading to good long-term outcome.