We sought to assess the long-term outcome and efficacy of percutaneous transluminal angioplasty in the treatment of symptomatic intracranial atherosclerotic stenoses.Twenty-three patients with fixed symptomatic intracranial stenoses were treated over a 5-year period with percutaneous transluminal angioplasty. Patients who underwent successful angioplasty were followed up for 16 to 74 months (mean, 35.4 months).An angioplasty that resulted in decreased stenosis was performed in 21 of 23 patients (91.3%). In 1 case a stenosis could not be safely crossed, and in another balloon dilatation resulted in vessel rupture. This vessel rupture resulted in the 1 periprocedural death in the series. In follow-up there was 1 stroke in the same vascular territory as the angioplasty and 2 strokes in the series overall. This yielded an annual stroke rate of 3.2% for strokes in the territory appropriate to the site of angioplasty.Intracranial angioplasty can be performed with a high degree of technical success. The long-term clinical follow-up available in this series suggests that it may reduce the risk of future stroke in patients with symptomatic intracranial stenoses.
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