Objective and importance: Angioplasty for basilar artery stenosis is often complicated by recurrent abrupt vessel closure. The clinical results can be catastrophic. In this case report, we assess the effects of intra-arterial papaverine (American Regent Laboratories Inc., Shirley, NJ) on rebound occlusion.
Clinical presentation: The patient presented with crescendo transient ischemic attacks from atherosclerotic narrowing of the midbasilar artery despite maximal medical treatment.
Intervention: Angioplasty of the midbasilar artery was performed with serial balloon inflations. The patient was treated successfully with intra-arterial papaverine and achieved a nearly full recovery, with only mild dysarthria, by the time of the 7-month follow-up examination.
Conclusion: Using intra-arterial papaverine, we were able to reverse the effects of this potentially life-threatening complication of basilar artery angioplasty.