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Stroke. 2006 Apr;37(4):1016-20. Epub 2006 Feb 23.

Angioplasty for symptomatic intracranial stenosis: clinical outcome.

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Department of Radiology, Stanford University Medical Center, CA 94305-5105, USA.



Medical treatment of symptomatic intracranial stenosis carries a high risk of stroke. This study was done to evaluate the clinical and angiographic outcomes after intracranial angioplasty for this disease.


A total of 120 patients with 124 intracranial stenoses were treated by primary angioplasty. All patients had neurologic symptoms (stroke or transient ischemic attack) attributable to intracranial stenoses > or =50%. Angiograms were evaluated before and after angioplasty for the degree of stenosis.


Pretreatment stenoses varied from 50% to 95% (mean 82.2+/-10.2). Post-treatment stenoses varied from 0% to 90% (mean 36.0+/-20.1). There were 3 strokes and 4 deaths (all neurological) within 30 days of the procedure, giving a combined periprocedural stroke and death rate of 5.8%. A total of 116 patients (96.7%) were available for a mean follow-up time of 42.3 months. There were 6 patients who had a stroke in the territory of treatment and 5 additional patients with stroke in other territories. Ten deaths occurred during the follow-up period, none of which were neurological. Including the periprocedural stroke and deaths, this yielded an annual stroke rate of 3.2% in the territory of treatment and a 4.4% annual rate for all strokes.


Intracranial angioplasty can be performed with a high degree of technical success and a low risk of complications. Long-term clinical follow-up of intracranial angioplasty patients demonstrates a risk of future strokes that compares favorably to patients receiving medical therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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