Dural sinus stents for idiopathic intracranial hypertension

J Neurosurg 116:538–548, 2012. DOI: 10.3171/2011.10.JNS101410

The use of unilateral dural sinus stent placement in patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) has been described by multiple investigators. To date there is a paucity of information on the angiographic and hemodynamic outcome of these procedures. The object of this study was to define the clinical, angiographic, and hemodynamic outcome of placement of unilateral dural sinus stents to treat intracranial venous hypertension in a subgroup of patients meeting the diagnostic criteria for IIH.

Methods. Eighteen consecutive patients with a clinical diagnosis of IIH were treated with unilateral stent placement in the transverse-sigmoid junction region. All patients had papilledema. All 12 female patients had headaches; 1 of 6 males had headaches previously that disappeared after weight loss. Seventeen patients had elevated opening pressures at lumbar puncture. Twelve patients had opening pressures of 33–55 cm H2O. All patients underwent diagnostic cerebral arteriography that showed venous outflow compromise by filling defects in the transverse-sigmoid junction region. All patients underwent intracranial selective venous pressure measurements across the filling defects. Follow-up arteriography was performed in 16 patients and follow-up venography/venous pressure measurements were performed in 15 patients.

Results. Initial pressure gradients across the filling defects ranged from 10.5 to 39 mm Hg. Nineteen stent procedures were performed in 18 patients. One patient underwent repeat stent placement for hemodynamic failure. Pressure gradients were reduced in every instance and ranged from 0 to 7 mm Hg after stenting. Fifteen of 16 patients in whom ophthalmological follow-up was performed experienced disappearance of papilledema. Follow-up arteriography in 16 patients at 5–99 months (mean 25.3 months, median 18.5 months) showed patency of all stents without in-stent restenosis. Two patients had filling defects immediately above the stent. Four other patients developed transverse sinus narrowing above the stent without filling defects. One of these patients underwent repeat stent placement because of hemodynamic deterioration. Two of the other 3 patients had hemodynamic deterioration with recurrent pressure gradients of 10.5 and 18 mm Hg.

Conclusions. All stents remained patent without restenosis. Stent placement is durable and successfully eliminates papilledema in appropriately selected patients. Continuing hemodynamic success in this series was 80%, and was 87% with repeat stent placement in 1 patient.