Safety and efficacy of percutaneous transluminal angioplasty for intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis

Wayne M. Clark, Stanley L. Barnwell, Gary Nesbit, Oisin R. O’neill, Michael L. Wynn, Bruce M. Coull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PCTA) is increasingly used to treat extracerebral arterial stenosis. The present study evaluates the safety and efficacy of PCTA treatment of symptomatic intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis. Methods A series of 22 vessels in 17 patients were treated with PCTA. All patients had recurrent neurological symptoms referable to the stenotic vessel despite optimal medical therapy. Critical (more than 70%) arterial stenosis was confirmed by angiogram, and angioplasty was performed with a 3.0- to 3.5-mm Stealth balloon. Results The average preangioplasty stenosis (North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial criteria) was 72 plus minus 8% (mean plus minus SD), with a significant improvement seen after angioplasty; the best angiographic stenosis (after healing of intimal injury, if any) was 43 plus minus 24% (P less than.001). Overall PCTA was successful in 82% of the vessels. There were two strokes during angioplasty for a 30-day morbidity rate of 9.1% per treated vessel and 11.7% per case. The other 15 patients were clinically evaluated at 3 and 6 months; all cases were without further events. Restenosis was evaluated in 8 patients (12 vessels) with an angiogram at 6 months showing further improvement compared with the initial post-PCTA stenosis (51 plus minus 10% versus 37 plus minus 21% [P equals.05]). Conclusions PCTA may be a beneficial therapy in selected cases of symptomatic intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis. Further study using a randomized trial is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1200-1204
Number of pages5
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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