The purposes of this study were to determine the optimal time for initial follow-up angiography, the restenosis rate after successful intracranial percutaneous transluminal cerebral angioplasty (PTCBA), and finally to identify lesion-specific characteristics for predicting successful angioplasty. Thirty-five patients underwent PTCBA with follow-up angiography 3 and 12 months later. Although 27 lesions were adequately dilated, permanent complications occurred in 3 patients. The restenosis rate at 3 months was 29.6 %; patients without restenosis at 3 months remained free from vessel narrowing at 12 months. Restenosis occurred on severe, eccentric lesions, total occlusions or extremely angulated lesions. There was a strong correlation between sufficient dilatation and lower restenosis rate, and concentric and short lesions (type A). We conclude that the optimal time for initial angiographic follow-up is 3 months after PTCBA. PTCBA is most suitable for type A lesions with higher success, lower morbidity and lower restenosis rates.