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Safety and Efficacy Analyses of Angioplasty and Stenting for Severe Intracranial Arterial Stenosis: A Single-Center Retrospective Study in China

Rong Yin, Fei Chang, Bo Hong, Xiang-qun Shi, Guo-zhen Zhang, Zhao Liu, Zhi-qiang Zhang, Ya-xuan Wei, Jian-min Liu

Department of Neurology, The General Hospital of Lanzhou Military Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, Lanzhou, Gansu, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:3311-3319

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.894574

Available online:

Published: 2015-10-31

BACKGROUND: The value of percutaneous transluminal angioplasty and stenting (PTAS) in the context of aggressive medical treatment for severe intracranial artery stenosis (ICAS) is under debate. This study compared the effects of PTAS and aggressive medical treatment in patients with severe ICAS and transient ischemic attack or stroke.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was performed. Patients with severe ICAS were assigned to a PTAS group or aggressive medical treatment group, according to the angiographic features of the stenotic lesions. The primary outcome was defined as stroke or death within 30 days or cerebral ischemia occurring ipsilaterally to the qualifying artery beyond 30 days.
RESULTS: We included 220 patients: 48 in the PTAS group and 172 in the medical group. The median follow-up was 32 months. PTAS was not associated with an increased incidence of the primary outcomes (10/42 vs. 39/172, p=0.96) or increased risks of the secondary outcomes of stroke, cardiovascular events, major bleeding, or mortality. The results of log-rank tests did not support a significant difference in event-free survival as a primary outcome between the 2 groups (chi-square=0.07, p=0.79). Moreover, although not significantly greater, the mean survival of patients in the PTAS group appeared to be better than that among patients in the medical group, as indicated by the curve for cumulative survival.
CONCLUSIONS: A suitable PTAS procedure is safe for patients with severe ICAS, and no significant differences in incidence of recurrent stroke or death were found between PTAS and aggressive medication treatment.

Keywords: Angiography, Angioplasty, Arteries - physiopathology, brain infarction, Brain Stem - pathology, China, Constriction, Pathologic - therapy, Disease-Free Survival, Hemorrhage, Ischemic Attack, Transient - therapy, Kaplan-Meier Estimate, Pressure, Stents, Stroke