Abstract 1787: Vertebral Artery Stent Placement for Symptomatic Patients: One-Year Follow-up
Background: Symptomatic vertebral artery stenosis (VAS) has a five-year stroke risk of 30%–35%. Mortality associated with posterior circulation (PC) strokes is high, ranging from 20%–30%. Surgical revascularization is rarely performed due to high morbidity and mortality. Endovascular revascularization with stents offers a potential treatment option for these patients.
Methods: One hundred nine patients (116 arteries, 70% male) underwent stent placement for extracranial (91%) and intracranial (9%) VAS from 1995–2006. Symptoms included vertigo (63%), visual changes (31%), syncope (11%), ataxia (7%), and drop attack (5%). Four patients had asymptomatic critical stenosis. Sixty-one patients (56%) had bilateral VAS, 74 patients (69%) had concomitant carotid disease, and 43 patients (39%) had a prior stroke. Procedural success was defined as residual stenosis of ≤ 20% without peri-procedural stroke or death. Clinical success was defined as procedural success with symptom resolution. Restenosis was defined as angiographic narrowing within the stent of ≥ 70% or > 50% with recurrent symptoms, or evidence of severe stenosis on non-invasive imaging (ultrasound, CT, or MR).
Results: Procedural and clinical success was achieved in 108 (99.1%) and 95 (94.3%) patients, respectively. At one year, follow-up was obtained in 91 patients (83.5%), 6 patients (5.5%) had died, 5 patients (5.3%) experienced a PC stroke, and 47 patients (43.1%) underwent repeat angiography and/or non-invasive imaging. Eighty-seven of the 91 patients were initially symptomatic, 69 (79.3%) of which were symptom-free at one year. Three of those that had recurrent symptoms never achieved clinical success, 9 had developed restenosis, and 7 underwent successful re-intervention. At median follow-up of 31 months (lower and upper quartiles of 13.0 and 51.8 months), 72.5% were alive and 71.6% remained symptom-free.
Conclusion: Our data demonstrates that stenting for VAS can be successfully performed in 99% of patients without peri-procedural stroke or death and is associated with durable symptom resolution in approximately 80% of patients at one year. In these high-risk patients, endovascular therapy for symptomatic VAS appears to be safe and effective at relieving symptoms.