Angioplasty of the occluded internal carotid artery

AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 1995 Oct;16(9):1791-6; discussion 1797-9.


Purpose: To review patients who have presented with acute strokes from a middle cerebral artery occlusion in whom in addition to the middle cerebral artery thromboembolus, an internal carotid artery occlusion has been present, and in whom angioplasty of these totally occluded internal carotid arteries has bee n successful.

Methods: We reviewed retrospectively our experience in treating a cute stroke patients with intracranial, intraarterial urokinase. Six of 27 patients had internal carotid artery occlusions in addition to middle cerebral artery occlusions. Two patients presented with spontaneous carotid dissections for wh ich no further intervention from the ipsilateral internal carotid artery was attempted. In the remaining four internal carotid artery occlusions secondary to atherosclerotic disease, standard guide wires and catheters were negotiated across the level of the internal carotid artery occlusion, which expedited intracranial catheterization for thrombolysis. Subsequently, angioplasty of the internal carotid artery was performed.

Results: All four occluded internal carotid arteries could be traversed. No new neurologic deficits occurred. No vascular injuries occurred. No deaths occurred. Four- to 6-month follow-up showed all four internal carotid arteries remained patent.

Conclusion: In acute occlusions of the internal carotid artery from atherosclerosis, the occluded vessel can sometimes be recanalized with low morbidity. In addition, endovascular access to the intracranial circulation can be expedited by using the recanalized internal carotid artery.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Angioplasty, Balloon*
  • Carotid Artery, Internal / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Stenosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Stenosis / therapy*
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thrombolytic Therapy
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator / therapeutic use


  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator