Angioplasty and stent placement have been reported for the treatment of intracranial stenosis. This study was undertaken to assess the efficacy and long-term clinical outcome of angioplasty without stent placement for patients with symptomatic intracranial stenosis.A retrospective study was done to evaluate 36 patients with 37 symptomatic atherosclerotic intracranial stenosis who underwent primary balloon angioplasty. All patients had symptoms despite medical therapy. Thirty-four patients were available for follow-up ranging from 6 to 128 months. Mean follow-up was 52.9 months.Mean pretreatment stenosis was 84.2% before angioplasty and 43.3% after angioplasty. The periprocedural death and stroke rate was 8.3% (two deaths and one minor stroke). Two patients had strokes in the territory of angioplasty at 2 and 37 months after angioplasty. The annual stroke rate in the territory appropriate to the site of angioplasty was 3.36%, and for those patients with a residual stenosis of > or =50% it was 4.5%. Patients with iatrogenic dissection (n=11) did not have transient ischemic attacks or strokes after treatment.Results of long-term follow-up suggest that intracranial angioplasty without stent placement reduces the risk of further stroke in symptomatic patients.
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