Intracranial stenting in atherosclerotic disease—recent results and challenges to face
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- Kurre, W., Chapot, R., du Mesnil de Rochemont, R. et al. Neuroradiology (2010) 52: 633. doi:10.1007/s00234-010-0678-5
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Intracranial stenting is increasingly used as an add-on to medical therapy despite the fact that the overall clinical benefit remains a matter of debate, since we lack results of randomized trials. Decision making on interventional treatment is made on the grounds of the anticipated risk of stroke with antiplatelet medication on one hand and on the experience with stent treatment based on data from case series and registries on the other hand. This review will summarize the current knowledge on both topics serving as the fundament of patient selection for intracranial stenting. A second objective is to highlight some specific problems that are encountered when treating patients interventionally. Procedure-related complication rates and rates of in stent stenoses are still too high to be confident that endovascular treatment is superior to medical therapy of symptomatic stenoses. Optimization of patient selection criteria, stent technology, and periprocedural management are necessary to become undoubtedly competitive with antiplatelet therapy. With the current stage of development, interventional treatment of intracranial stenoses should be confined to specialized centers with a high expertise in neurovascular procedures.