Vertebral artery ostial stent placement for atherosclerotic stenosis in 72 consecutive patients

Neuroradiology (2008) 51:531–539 DOI 10.1007/s00234-009-0531-x

The study’s purpose is to report the technical and clinical outcomes of a patient cohort that underwent vertebral artery ostium stent placement for atherosclerotic stenosis.

Methods  We retrospectively analyzed a prospectively collected database of neurointerventional procedures performed at a single center from 1999 to 2005. Outcome measures included recurrent transient neurological deficits (TNDs), stroke, and death. Kaplan–Meier analysis was used to estimate stroke- and/or death-free survival at 12 months. Cox proportional hazard was used to identify risk factors for recurrent vertebrobasilar ischemic events.

Results  Seventy-two patients with 77 treated vertebral ostial lesions were included. The 30-day stroke and/or death rate was 5.2% (n = 4), although no event was directly related to the vertebral ostium stent placement. Three procedure-related strokes were secondary to attempted stent placement at other sites (one carotid artery and two basilar arteries), and the one death was secondary to the presenting stroke severity. The mean clinical follow-up time available for 66 patients was 9 months. There were 14 TNDs (21%), two strokes (3%), and two deaths (3%) recorded in the follow-up. Recurrent vertebrobasilar ischemic events occurred in nine patients (seven TNDs and two strokes). No recurrent stroke and/or deaths were related to the treated vertebral ostium. Stroke- and/or death-free survival rate (including periprocedural stroke and/or death) was 89 ± 5% at 12 months. No vascular risk factor was significantly associated with recurrent vertebrobasilar ischemic events.

Conclusions  Vertebral artery ostium stent placement can be safely and effectively performed with a low rate of recurrent stroke in the territory of the treated vessel. Patients who also underwent attempted treatment of a tandem intracranial stenosis appeared to be at highest risk for periprocedure stroke.

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