Endovascular recanalization of the subacute to chronically occluded basilar artery: Initial experience and technical considerations

Shervin R. Dashti, Min S. Park, Michael F. Stiefel, Cameron G. McDougall, Felipe C. Albuquerque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: Occlusion of the basilar artery (BA) has a poor prognosis. We evaluated technical considerations and complications associated with reopening subacute to chronically occluded BAs. METHODS: Duration of BA occlusion before revascularization, symptoms and medical management before treatment, and postprocedural antiplatelet regimen and anticoagulation protocols of 9 patients were analyzed. All patients underwent endovascular low-volume balloon angioplasty followed by Wingspan stenting. RESULTS: The median time between onset of symptoms and treatment was 5 days (range, 2 days to 3.5 years). The median time between documentation of BA occlusion by cerebral angiography or computed tomography angiography and treatment was 3 days (range, 1 day to 8 months). Recanalization was successful in 8 of the 9 patients. Immediately after the procedure, 4 patients were stable, 3 patients improved, and 2 patients were worse. Four patients had periprocedural complications. Four of the 9 patients died, 2 from periprocedural complications. The mean clinical duration of follow-up was 11 months. At latest follow-up, the modified Rankin Scale scores for the 5 surviving patients were 0, 0, 2, 2, and 3, respectively. During the follow-up period, 4 patients improved, 1 patient remained stable, and 1 patient died. The mean angiographic follow-up was 8.6 months. Two patients developed significant in-stent stenosis during this period. CONCLUSION: With current endovascular techniques, recanalization of chronically occluded BAs is feasible. The procedure carries substantial risks and should be reserved for patients with medically refractory symptoms. Careful postprocedural medical management and radiographic follow-up are warranted to prevent in-stent restenosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)825-831
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Basilar artery angioplasty
  • Basilar artery occlusion
  • Intracranial stent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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