Stent impact on the geometry of the carotid bifurcation and the course of the internal carotid artery
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A measurement system is proposed to evaluate reconstructive effects of carotid stents on the geometry of the carotid bifurcation and the course of the internal carotid artery. To describe deviations of the stenotic internal carotid artery (ICA) from the extended axis of the common carotid artery (CCA) the CCA-ICA angle is measured between the CCA midaxis and the midaxis of the stenotic ICA segment. Maximal extensions of ICA tortuosities perpendicular to the course of the CCA axis are defined as ICA offset. The measurements were applied to DSA images of 224 carotid stenoses to evaluate variation and correlation between the two parameters. Comparative pre- and post-stent evaluation was performed in two series of 55 and 31 carotid stenoses treated with Wallstents and in a historic control group of 35 stenoses treated with Strecker stents. Straight course of the ICA was associated with low angle and low offset values, whereas tortuous course of the ICA showed larger angle and offset. A moderate linear correlation between the two parameters was found. Corresponding to a straightening of the stented segment, Wallstents reduced mean angle and offset values significantly. In five cases of the second series of Wallstents, transferrals of curves above the distal stent end associated with kinks were observed, and offset remained constant or increased. Strecker stent implantation caused no significant changes of bifurcational geometry. The proposed parameters corresponded to visual aspects of ICA tortuosity and detected reconstructive effects of self-expanding Wallstents on the ICA course. The measurement system may provide a basis for geometric evaluation of different stent types or implantation concepts with the aim: to optimize anatomic recanalization results in tortuous high angle-high offset bifurcations.
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