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Stroke. 2006 Oct;37(10):2562-6. Epub 2006 Sep 7.

Safety, feasibility, and short-term follow-up of drug-eluting stent placement in the intracranial and extracranial circulation.

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



The use of bare metal stents to treat symptomatic intracranial stenosis may be associated with significant restenosis rates. The advent of drug-eluting stents (DESs) in the coronary circulation has resulted in a reduction of restenosis rates. We report our technical success rate and short-term restenosis rates after stenting with DESs in the intracranial and extracranial circulation.


This study was a retrospective review of the period between April 1, 2004, and April 15, 2006, of 59 patients with 62 symptomatic intracranial or extracranial atherosclerotic lesions at 2 medical centers (University of Pittsburgh and Borgess Medical Center).


The mean age of our cohort was 61+/-12 years. The location of the 62 lesions was as follows: extracranial vertebral artery 31 (50%), intracranial vertebral artery or basilar artery 18 (29%), extracranial internal carotid artery (ICA) near the petrous bone 5 (8%), and intracranial ICA 8 (13%). There were 2 (3%) periprocedural complications: 1 non-flow-limiting dissection and 1 disabling stroke. Fifty vessels were available for follow-up angiography or computed tomography angiography at a median time of 4.0+/-2 months. A total of 2 of 36 extracranial stents (7%) and 1 of 26 intracranial stents (5%) were found to have restenosis > or = 50% at follow-up.


This report demonstrates that DES delivery in the intracranial and extracranial circulation is technically feasible. A small percentage of patients developed short-term in-stent restenosis. Longer-term follow-up is required in the setting of a prospective study to determine the late restenosis rates for DESs in comparison with bare metal stents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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