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Original research
Drug-coated balloon for vertebral artery origin stenosis: a pilot study
  1. Yabing Wang1,2,
  2. Yiding Feng1,2,
  3. Tao Wang1,2,
  4. Yan Ma1,2,
  5. Peng Gao1,2,3,
  6. Jian Chen1,2,
  7. Yanfei Chen1,2,
  8. Bin Yang1,2,
  9. Liqun Jiao1,2,3
  1. 1 China International Neuroscience Institute (China-INI), Beijing, China
  2. 2 Department of Neurosurgery, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
  3. 3 Department of Interventional Neuroradiology, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Liqun Jiao, Department of Neurosurgery, Xuanwu Hospital, Beijing 100053, China; liqunjiao{at}


Background Drug-coated balloon (DCB) is a potential treatment for patients with low restenosis risk in vertebral artery origin stenosis (VAOS). However, the clinical data of long-term outcome are limited.

Objective To evaluate the safety and efficacy of a DCB in patients with severe VAOS.

Methods A prospective, non-randomized, single-center pilot study enrolled 30 patients with severe VAOS treated with DCB between 2017 and 2018. The first 20 patients were treated with a balloon-to-vessel ratio of predilation (pBVR)<0.8 (small-size balloon predilation) and the following 10 patients were treated with a pBVR 0.8–1.0 (large-size balloon predilation). Primary safety endpoints included 30-day death, stroke, and transient ischemic attack (TIA). The main efficacy outcome was restenosis at 6 months, defined as a peak systolic velocity >140 cm/s measured by Doppler ultrasound. Long-term outcomes, including TIAs, stroke, death, and modified Rankin Scale score, were followed up to 2 years.

Results Technical success (<50% residual stenosis) was achieved in 26 patients (mean age 66.2±7.0; seven women). Four patients received bailout stenting and were excluded. Ultrasound confirmed restenosis at 6 months in 10 (38.5%) of 26, which was significantly less frequent in LSBP (LSBP vs SSBP=10% vs 56.3%, p<0.05). No adverse events occurred within 30 days of treatment. 19 patients were followed up for 2 years, with two deaths due to cancer.

Conclusion This pilot study suggests that DCB is a safe approach for VAOS. The relatively low restenosis rate indicates the its potential long-term efficacy for VAOS. Future randomized controlled trials to confirm its efficacy are warranted.

  • balloon
  • angioplasty
  • stenosis
  • ultrasound
  • stroke

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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  • Contributors YW is the principal investigator, and initiated the study. YF was involved in the study design and drafted this manuscript. YM, PG, JC, YC, BY, and LJ were involved in the conception and study design. TW made important statistical contributions. All authors provided feedback on drafts of this paper and read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Project (2016YFC1301703) and the Beijing Scientific and Technologic Project (Z201100005520020)

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.