Background Carotid artery dissection is an important cause of stroke in young patients. Selection criteria for endovascular repair have not been well defined and limited data exist on long-term outcomes of stent reconstruction.
Objective To report the immediate and long-term clinical and radiographic outcomes of patients treated with stent placement for progressively worsening symptomatic carotid arterial dissection despite antithrombotic therapy.
Methods A single institution neuro-endovascular database was accessed to identify consecutive cases in which carotid artery dissection was treated with endovascular repair between 2006 and 2012. Clinical, demographic, radiographic, and procedural data were obtained through chart review.
Results A total of 22 patients were identified and included 27 carotid artery dissection repairs with stent implantation. The mean age was 43 years (±8.7) with 13 patients being women. Traumatic dissections were seen in 9 (40.9%) patients and spontaneous dissections in 13 (59.1%) patients. All patients were symptomatic and were started on antithrombotic therapy on diagnosis. Most common indications for treatment included recurrent ischemia despite antithrombotic therapy in 15 (55.5%) arteries and enlarging dissecting aneurysm in 4 (14.8%) arteries. Mean degree of stenosis was 79.1%. Mean number of stents used was 1.88 (range 1–4). There was 1 (4.5%) asymptomatic peri-procedural thromboembolic event. Median clinical follow-up was 14 months (range 3–40) and median imaging follow-up was 14 months (range 3–38). There was 1 (4.5%) case of recurrent transient ischemic attack. There was no death, significant restenosis or stroke in the territory of the treated vessel during the duration of the follow-up.
Conclusions Endovascular stent reconstruction for the treatment of selected patients with progressively worsening carotid dissection despite medical management is feasible with acceptable immediate and long-term clinical and radiographic outcomes. To be able to draw more robust conclusions, further evaluation with larger number of patients and longer follow-up is needed.
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