Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty for intracranial arteriosclerotic lesions

Neuroradiology. 1998 Sep;40(9):590-6. doi: 10.1007/s002340050651.


We report 17 cases of intracranial arterial stenosis treated by percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA), including 9 on the intracranial internal carotid (ICA), 4 on the middle cerebral (MCA), and 4 on vertebrobasilar artery (VBA) system. All patients had ischaemic brain symptoms and stenoses of more than 60% (calculated angiographically). We treated four patients by PTA for residual stenoses after thrombolysis for acute occlusion. We used PTA balloon catheters 2.0-3.5 mm in diameter for all procedures. As a rule, the balloon was inflated for 1 min at 6 atm. All arteries were successfully dilated (stenosis less than 50%) except for one treated by PTA for residual MCA stenosis after thrombolysis. The patient died of a massive infarct due to MCA reocclusion caused by arterial dissection. Stenosis recurred in 4 of 16 patients. Repeat PTA was successfully carried out in these cases. However, stenosis recurred in one of these patients 3 months after PTA, but the patient is being followed because he is asymptomatic. PTA of intracranial arteries is effective, but its indications should be based strictly on potential risks, such as acute occlusion derived from arterial dissection.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Angioplasty, Balloon*
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arteriosclerosis / diagnosis
  • Intracranial Arteriosclerosis / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome