Background and purpose The long term results of vertebral artery ostium (VAO) stenting remain uncertain. We sought to evaluate the incidence and risk factors for recurrent ischemic events on long term follow-up in patients who have undergone VAO stenting.
Methods 190 consecutive patients who had undergone a total of 202 stenting procedures for symptomatic atherosclerotic VAO stenosis between January 2011 and December 2012 were screened. Baseline demographics of the patients and morphological features of VAO were recorded. The primary outcome events analyzed included recurrent transient ischemic attack (TIA), stroke, and vascular related mortality. Risk factors for these recurrent events were identified. Other outcome events analyzed included in-stent restenosis (ISR) ≥50% and stent fracture noted on follow-up.
Results Of the 188 patients with available follow-up data (mean follow-up period 16.7 months), 34 patients suffered recurrent TIAs (18.1%); none had stroke or death. 40 patients were found to have ISR (21.2%) and nine patients had stent fracture (4.7%). Patients with recurrent events were significantly more likely to have ISR, stent fracture, vessel tortuosity, and hyperlipidemia than patients without recurrent events.
Conclusions Stenting for VAO stenosis seems to be safe and efficacious. The majority of recurrent events were TIAs, which may be related to ISR, stent fracture, vessel tortuosity, and hyperlipidemia.