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Stroke. 2005 Nov;36(11):2426-30. Epub 2005 Oct 13.

Emergent stenting of extracranial internal carotid artery occlusion in acute stroke has a high revascularization rate.

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Department of Neurology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Stroke Institute, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.



Acute ischemic stroke attributable to extracranial internal carotid artery (ICA) occlusion is frequently associated with severe disability or death. In selected cases, revascularization with carotid artery stenting has been reported, but the safety, recanalization rate, and clinical outcomes in consecutive case series are not known.


We retrospectively reviewed all of the cases of ICA occlusions that underwent cerebral angiography with the intent to revascularize over a 38-month period. Two groups were identified: (1) patients who presented with an acute clinical presentation within 6 hours of symptom onset (n=15); and (2) patients who presented subacutely with neurologic fluctuations because of the ICA occlusion (n=10).


Twenty-five patients with a mean age of 62+/-11 years and median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) of 14 were identified. Twenty-three of the 25 patients (92%) were successfully revascularized with carotid artery stenting. Patients in group 1 were younger and more likely to have a tandem occlusion and higher baseline NIHSS when compared with group 2. Patients in group 2 were more likely to show early clinical improvement defined as a reduction of their NIHSS by > or =4 points and a modified Rankin Score of < or =2 at 30-day follow-up. Two clinically insignificant adverse events were noted: 1 asymptomatic hemorrhage and 1 nonflow-limiting dissection.


Endovascular treatment of acute ICA occlusion appears to have a high-recanalization rate and be relatively safe in our cohort of patients with acute ICA occlusion. Future prospective studies are necessary to determine which patients are most likely to benefit from this form of therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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