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Stroke. 2004 Jun;35(6):1388-92. Epub 2004 Apr 22.

Stenting of Symptomatic Atherosclerotic Lesions in the Vertebral or Intracranial Arteries (SSYLVIA): study results.



Stroke rates in patients with symptomatic intracranial stenosis may be as high as 10% to 24% per year on medical therapy. This multicenter, nonrandomized, prospective feasibility study evaluated the NEUROLINK System for treatment of vertebral or intracranial artery stenosis.


Patients were 18 to 80 years old with symptoms attributed to a single target lesion of > or =50% stenosis. Patients received 5 neurological examinations before and in the year after the procedure, and another angiogram at 6 months.


In 61 patients enrolled, 43 (70.5%) intracranial arteries (15 internal carotid, 5 middle cerebral, 1 posterior cerebral, 17 basilar, 5 vertebral) and 18 (29.5%) extracranial vertebral arteries (6 ostia, 12 proximal to the posterior inferior cerebellar artery [PICA]) were treated. In the first 30 days, 4 patients (6.6%) had strokes and no deaths occurred. Successful stent placement was achieved in 58/61 cases (95%). At 6 months, stenosis of >50% occurred in 12/37 (32.4%) intracranial arteries and 6/14 (42.9%) extracranial vertebrals, 4 in the vertebral ostia. Seven (39%) recurrent stenoses were symptomatic. Four of 55 patients (7.3%) had strokes later than 30 days, 1 of which was in the only patient not stented.


The NEUROLINK System is associated with a high rate of successful stent deployment. Strokes occurred in 6.6% of patients within 30 days and in 7.3% between 30 days and 1 year. Although restenoses occurred in 35% of patients, 61% were asymptomatic. Further trials involving the NEUROLINK System are warranted.

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