Purpose: Treatment of choice for the internal carotid artery dissection (ICAD) is anticoagulation for three to 6 months. Endovascular procedures may be a promising alternative for patients (pts) with haemodynamic impairment, recurrent ischaemic symptoms or symptomatic pseudoaneurysms. Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of carotid artery stenting in treatment of selected pts with extracranial ICAD.
Methods: This study involved 18 symptomatic pts with the mean age of 44.6 ± 10.4 years with ICAD treated with the use of self-expandable stents. Six months after primary procedures, pts were readmitted to hospital and physical examination followed by cerebral angiography was performed. In the late follow-up period, clinical evaluations completed by duplex Doppler ultrasonography were carried out every 6 months and at the end of the follow-up period.
Results: Nobody died and no life-threatening adverse events were observed during either the in-hospital stay or post-discharge follow-up period (median 21 months). Stent deployment immediately restored flow in the true lumen of ICA in all cases. However, residual blood flow through the false lumen was observed in one pt. Complete resolution of clinical symptoms was observed in 14 pts (78%), partial improvement in 2 (11%) and persistence of neurological deficit in 2 (11%).
Conclusions: Implantation of self-expandable stents in treatment of selected extracranial ICAD cases is safe. This method may enable us to restore immediately and usually permanently proper arterial blood flow in the ICA and in consequence lead to significant clinical improvement in the late follow-up period.
Keywords: Dissection; Endovascular treatment; Internal carotid artery; Outcome; Pseudoaneurysm.