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Stenting for intracranial stenosis: potential future for the prevention of disabling or fatal stroke.


Intracranial stenosis is a common cause of ischaemic strokes, in particular, in the Asian, African and Hispanic populations. The randomised multicentre study Stenting and Aggressive Medical Management for the Prevention of Recurrent stroke in Intracranial Stenosis (SAMMPRIS) showed 14.7% risk of stroke or death in the stenting group versus 5.8% in the medical group at 30 days, and 23% in the stenting group versus 15% in the medical group at a median follow-up of 32.4 months. The results demonstrated superiority of medical management over stenting and have almost put the intracranial stenting to rest in recent years. Of note, 16 patients (7.1%) in the stenting group had disabling or fatal stroke within 30 days mostly due to periprocedural complications as compared with 4 patients (1.8%) in the medical group. In contrast, 5 patients (2.2%) in the stenting group and 14 patients (6.2%) in the medical group had a disabling or fatal stroke beyond 30 days, indicating significant benefit of stenting if periprocedural complications can be reduced. Recently, the results of the Chinese Angioplasty and Stenting for Symptomatic Intracranial Severe Stenosis trial and the Wingspan Stent System Post Market Surveillance Study (WEAVE trial) showed 2%-2.7% periprocedural complications. It is time to evaluate the role of intracranial stenting for the prevention of disabling or fatal stroke.

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