Management of symptomatic intracranial arterial stenosis: Endovascular therapy
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Patients with symptomatic intracranial stenosis are at high risk of subsequent stroke despite the use of antithrombotic agents or surgical management. Although endovascular therapy appears to promise therapeutic solutions, the reported high peri-procedural adverse event rate limits the widespread use of this technique. In the past few years, the morbidity and mortality associated with intracranial angioplasty and stenting have decreased with the development of new intracranial specific devices. The most recent prospective studies on intracranial stenting have been nothing more than registries of patients with symptomatic intracranial stenosis of 50% or greater who have failed medical therapy. However, no randomized controlled data exist on the comparison between endovascular therapy and medical treatment. There are new data identifying factors associated with a higher risk of stroke in medically treated patients. These findings will help to define a high-risk patient population on whom the initial controlled trials will be conducted.
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