A Novel, Self-Expanding, Nitinol Stent in Medically Refractory Intracranial Atherosclerotic Stenoses the Wingspan Study

Arani Bose, Marius Hartmann,  Hans Henkes,  Hon Man Liu,  Michael M. H. Teng, Istvan Szikora etc

Background and Purpose—The purpose of this study was to assess the safety and performance of the Wingspan stent system and Gateway percutaneous transluminal angioplasty balloon catheter in the treatment of high-grade, intracranial atherosclerotic lesions in patients who had failed medical therapy.

Methods—In this prospective, multicenter, single-arm study, medically refractory patients with a modified Rankin score≤3 and recurrent symptoms attributable to angiographically demonstrated intracranial stenosis ≥50% in a vessel 2.5 to 4.5 mm in diameter were enrolled. Intracranial lesions were predilated with an undersized Gateway balloon catheter to 80% of the native vessel diameter, followed by deployment of the self-expanding Wingspan stent to facilitate further remodeling of the atherosclerotic plaque and to maintain vessel patency. Neurologic examinations and angiograms were performed at 6 months after the procedure.

Results—Among the 45 patients enrolled, the degree of stenosis was reduced from a baseline of 74.9±9.8% to 31.9±13.6% after stenting and 28±23.2% at the 6-month follow-up. The 30-day composite ipsilateral stroke/death rate was 4.5%(2/44); at the 6-month follow-up,the ipsilateral stroke/death rate was 7.0%, the rate for all strokes was 9.7%, and all-cause mortality was 2.3%. Physician-reported follow-up in 43 patients (average of 13months) conducted outside the study protocol (not adjudicated by the clinical event committee) reported 1 additional ipsilateral stroke.

Conclusions—In medically refractory patients with high-grade intracranial atherosclerotic stenoses, a new treatment paradigm involving predilation with an undersized Gateway percutaneous transluminal angioplasty balloon catheter and placement of a self-expanding Wingspan stent system appears to be safe, may facilitate remodeling, and may contribute tofavorable angiographic outcomes. (Stroke. 2007;38:1531-1537.)

Full Publications: http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/38/5/1531.full