Treatment Strategy for Progressive Cervical Internal Carotid Artery Stenosis Under Restriction of the Use of Antiplatelet Drugs

World Neurosurg. 2019 Oct:130:e438-e443. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2019.06.111. Epub 2019 Jun 24.


Background: Acute ischemic stroke caused by cervical internal carotid artery stenosis (ICS) with altered consciousness and progressive paralysis leads to a poor neurologic prognosis. When such a patient is brought to the hospital in the hyperacute phase, intravenous tissue plasminogen activator is first administered. However, when an indwelling carotid artery stent is required after administration, physicians often hesitate to use antithrombotic drugs. In this report, we propose performing staged angioplasty (SAP) for such cases.

Methods: Four patients were retrospectively investigated. In all 4 patients, we immediately performed only percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) without antiplatelet drugs. If both cerebral perfusion on angiography and neurologic findings improved, no additional treatment was provided; otherwise, emergency carotid artery stenting (eCAS) was performed. In PTA-successful cases, eCAS or carotid endarterectomy (CEA) was performed with single or dual antiplatelet drugs at a later date.

Results: The success rate of PTA was 50% (2 of 4), and the overall treatment success rate was 100% (4 of 4). Three patients had favorable outcomes (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score 0-2), but unfortunately, 1 patient had severe disability (mRS score >3) on discharge. The PTA-successful patients had no perioperative complications. On the other hand, 1 of the 2 patients who underwent eCAS experienced embolic complications, including distal embolization.

Conclusions: In this investigation, both eCAS and SAP could be performed safety. However, performing SAP first without antiplatelet drugs to avoid hemorrhagic complications and cerebral hyperperfusion syndrome appears to have considerable validity.

Keywords: Antiplatelet drugs; Emergency carotid artery stenting; Progressive cervical internal carotid artery stenosis; Staged angioplasty; Tissue plasminogen activator.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angioplasty / methods*
  • Brain Ischemia / etiology*
  • Carotid Stenosis / complications
  • Carotid Stenosis / drug therapy*
  • Carotid Stenosis / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stroke / etiology*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors