Exclusion of Atherosclerotic Plaque from the Circulation Using Stent-Grafts: Alternative to Carotid Stenting with a Protection Device?
To retrospectively assess the feasibility, safety, and clinical mid-term outcome of patients undergoing carotid artery stenting with stent-grafts.
Over a 4 year period stent-grafts were used in the endovascular treatment of symptomatic internal carotid artery stenosis in 12 patients (2 women, 10 men, aged 47–83 (mean 64) years). Protection devices were not used. Possible microembolic complications were evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations of the brain before and the day after the procedure in all patients. Mean follow-up was 22 months (range 1–42 months), by Doppler ultrasonography and conventional angiography as well as clinical examination.
The technical success rate was 100%. A total of 13 coronary stent-grafts were used. The mean stenosis rate (in terms of diameter) was 85% and the mean length of stent-grafts used was 20.9 mm. The mean diameter to which the stent-grafts were dilated was 4.66 mm. In-hospital complications occurred in 1 patient who suffered a minor femoral access hematoma that did not require transfusion or surgical decompression. Post-stenting diffusion-weighted MRI revealed several ipsilateral silent microemboli in only 1 case, which was completely asymptomatic. Two patients had a major stroke after 2 years of follow-up. Restenosis was found in 2 patients who underwent successful balloon dilatation followed by placement of a self-expandable bare stent within the stent-grafts.
Stent-grafts may prevent microembolic complications during stenting of atherosclerotic carotid lesions in selected cases, offering immediate exclusion of the atherosclerotic lesion from the circulation by pressing the plaque against the vessel wall. Comparative, randomized studies in larger series of patients are needed with carotid-dedicated stent-graft designs.
KeywordsAtherosclerotic stenosis Carotid artery stenting Stent-grafts
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