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

157 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose: 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 (>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±8% (mean±SD), with a significant improvement seen after angioplasty; the best angiographic stenosis (after healing of intimal injury, if any) was 43±24% (P<.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±10% versus 37±21% [P=.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


  • angioplasty, transluminal
  • cerebral arteries
  • endovascular therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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