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Endovascular Treatment of Intracranial Atherosclerotic StenosisArticle in several languages: English | deutsch
11 September 2018
25 January 2019
04 April 2019 (online)
Background Intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis (ICAS) causes 5 – 10 % of all ischemic strokes in the European population. Indication for endovascular treatment is a special challenge and the selection of material as well as interventional techniques essentially differs from the treatment of extracranial stenoses. According to recent studies patient selection became evidence based; however the method should not be abandoned. New technical approaches can contribute to avoid complications.
Method We performed a review of the literature with regard to conservative as well as endovascular treatment of ICAS. Different technical approaches are discussed and strategies to avoid complications are stressed. Based on the treatment indication, the positions of the authorities and the professional societies are taken into account.
Results and Conclusion A single self-expanding stent is approved for the treatment of ICAS. Balloon mounted and other self-expanding Stents are available for off-label use. Anatomical conditions and features of the stenosis determine the choice of material. Distal wire perforations causing intracranial bleedings may occur during exchange manoeuvres and constitute one of the technical complications in the treatment of ICAS. In contrast, there is hardly any efficient way to eliminate the risk of ischemia in the territory of perforating arteries arising from the intracranial posterior circulation and the middle cerebral artery. The results of the randomized prospective trials strengthen the conservative treatment of ICAS. Endovascular treatment should not be withheld from patients with either hemodynamic stenosis, recurrent ischemic events under best medical treatment in the territory of the stenosed vessel or acute occlusions of a stenosis.
Medical therapy and risk reduction constitute the primary treatment of intracranial stenosis.
Recurrence under best medical treatment and acute occlusions of intracranial stenosis are indications for endovascular treatment.
Acute occlusions due to intracranial stenosis often are treated by stenting and angioplasty after mechanical thrombectomy.
Exchange manoeuvres with distal wire perforation can cause intracranial hemorrhage.
Basal ganglia and brain stem ischemia constitute a specific risk in treatment of vessel segments bearing perforators.
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