Interventional neurovascular techniques for cerebral revascularization in the treatment of stroke

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1994 Oct;163(4):793-800. doi: 10.2214/ajr.163.4.8092013.


Recent advances in interventional neurovascular radiology have altered the management of cerebrovascular diseases by providing alternative treatments in three areas. (1) Cerebral percutaneous transluminal angioplasty is being used more often as an alternative to surgical endarterectomy or bypass grafting for patients with high-grade vascular stenosis of the innominate, subclavian, carotid, vertebral, and intracranial blood vessels. To date, the success rate has been greater than 90%, with less than 10% morbidity. (2) Transluminal angioplasty and local infusion of antispasmodic drugs are being used to treat patients with severe angiographic vasospasm unresponsive to conventional medical therapy. Intracranial arterial vasospasm due to subarachnoid hemorrhage has remained a leading cause of delayed morbidity and mortality. Neurologic improvement, defined as improvement in the Hunt and Hess neurologic grading scale, has been shown in 60-80% of the patients so treated. (3) Local intraarterial fibrinolysis has been beneficial for patients with acute thromboembolic occlusion in both intracranial arteries and the cerebral dural sinuses. Preliminary studies indicate that early revascularization is associated with improved neurologic outcome. This review delineates the current state of the art in interventional neurovascular techniques for treating patients with stroke in evolution and patients with signs and symptoms of impending stroke due to vascular stenosis or occlusion. These techniques for cerebral revascularization are under investigation as potential life-saving therapy when conventional medical or surgical treatment has failed. As more experience is gained, the results of controlled clinical trials become available, and technical improvements evolve, these procedures will decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with strokes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angioplasty, Balloon*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arteriosclerosis / therapy*
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / therapy*
  • Male
  • Radiology, Interventional*
  • Streptokinase / therapeutic use
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / methods*
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator / therapeutic use


  • Streptokinase
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator