Background Carotid artery stenting (CAS) for internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis with vulnerable plaques is controversial. We analyzed the effect of a dual protection and blood aspiration method during CAS in patients with vulnerable plaques.
Methods A total of 111 patients with ICA stenosis underwent CAS using the dual protection (simultaneous flow reversal and distal filter) and blood aspiration method. In 103 of 111 patients, preoperative carotid plaque was estimated by both 3 T MRI and ultrasonography (US). ICA plaques with a high intensity signal on time-of-flight-MR angiography (TOF-MRA) and/or mobile component on US were defined as vulnerable plaques. We assessed major adverse events (MAE) (ie, major stroke, myocardial infarction, and death) and hyperintense spots on diffusion-weighted images (DWI) after CAS. We then evaluated the visible debris captured by dual protection and blood aspiration during CAS.
Results The preoperative ICA plaque on TOF-MRA and US was judged to be vulnerable in 48.5% (50/103 patients). The success rate of the CAS procedure was 100% with no MAE within 30 days. DWI showed small hyperintense spots in 18% (9/50 patients) and 18.9% (10/53 patients) in the vulnerable and non-vulnerable plaque groups, respectively. Visible debris was captured in 68% (34/50 patients) and 45.3% (24/53 patients) in the vulnerable and non-vulnerable plaque groups, respectively (p=0.0286).
Conclusions The combination of dual protection and blood aspiration could provide effective distal embolic protection although vulnerable plaques on TOF-MRA and US had a high incidence of debris during CAS. Thus, CAS using dual protection and blood aspiration is safe in patients with vulnerable plaques.
- Magnetic Resonance Angiography
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