Protected stent-assisted angioplasty in radiation-induced carotid artery stenosis

Author(s): Cohen JE, Rajz G, Lylyk P, Hur TB, Gomori JM, et al.


Objective: The surgical treatment of radiation-induced carotid stenosis is challenging and presents a high rate of complications. This has led several investigators to propose stent-assisted angioplasty as the treatment of choice for this condition. The aim of this study is to evaluate the potential risks of intra-procedural embolic stroke in this setting using cerebral protection devices.

Methods: We describe our recent experience in the endovascular treatment by means of stent-assisted angioplasty with the aid of a filter cerebral protection device of eight patients presenting with radiation-induced carotid stenosis.

Results: Procedural success, defined as residual stenosis of less than 30% was obtained in all cases. The mean percentage stenosis was reduced from mean 80+/-6.3% (range 70-90%) to 13+/-4% (range 10-20%). Predilation was performed in five cases, post-dilation in all the cases. Mild-to-moderate bradycardia while inflating the balloon was present in three cases and was severe in one case. No patient sustained myocardial infarction, stroke or TIA during the procedure or hospital stay. During a mean clinical follow-up of 16+/-7.3 months (range 5-25) there were no neurological events. On sonographic follow-up, no patient presented in-stent de novo stenosis.

Discussion: Carotid angioplasty with cerebral protection can be performed safely in radiation-induced carotid stenosis with a high technical success rate. With the recent innovations and improvements in angioplasty technique, its indications and results will have to be redefined. Given the complexity and complications of surgical approaches for this condition, and the encouraging results obtained with endovascular techniques, carotid angioplasty emerges as the preferred treatment option.

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