Background and objective The outcome of failed recanalization in patients with acutely symptomatic intracranial vertebrobasilar (VB) artery occlusive disease is poor. This paper reports the recanalization rate and safety of VB artery stenting in acutely symptomatic patients presenting >8 h after onset of symptoms.
Methods A retrospective review of a prospectively maintained database of stent-supported endovascular treatment of intracranial circulation was carried out to identify patients with VB artery occlusive disease who were acutely revascularized >8 h after symptom onset.
Results Of 12 patients (mean age 61 years), nine had acute stroke and three had recurrent transient ischemic attacks. The median time to intervention was 59 h (range 8–80). The median National Institute of Health Stroke Scale score was 11.5 (range 1–40). Angiography showed thrombolysis in myocardial infarction (TIMI) 0 flow in six patients and TIMI 1 flow in the other six. Stents were placed in the basilar artery in six and at the VB junction in the other six. Mechanical and/or intra-arterial thrombolysis was used in three patients before stenting. Nine patients had self-expanding stents and three had balloon-expandable stents. The recanalization rate was 100%. Procedure-related and 3-month mortality was zero. Two patients had asymptomatic intracranial hemorrhage. At 3-month follow-up a favorable outcome with a modified Rankin score ≤2 was achieved in eight. A follow-up angiogram in eight patients showed mild re-stenosis in three.
Conclusion Stent-supported VB artery revascularization can be a viable option with an acceptable safety profile in acute VB occlusion or unstable intracranial atherosclerotic arterial disease (ICAD) in carefully selected patients.
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Correction notice This article has been corrected since it was published Online First. The author affiliations and corresponding author details have been updated.
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval This study was approved by the IRB.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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