JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Management of in-sent restenosis after carotid artery stenting in high-risk patients.

BACKGROUND: Carotid artery stenting (CAS) has emerged as an acceptable treatment alternative in patients with carotid bifurcation disease. Although early results of CAS have been promising, long-term clinical outcomes remain less certain. We report herein the frequency, management, and clinical outcome of in-stent restenosis (ISR) after CAS at a single academic institution.

METHODS: Clinical records of 208 CAS procedures in 188 patients with carotid stenosis of 80% or greater, including 48 (26.5%) asymptomatic patients, during a 42-month period were analyzed. Follow-up serial carotid duplex ultrasound scans were performed. Selective angiography and repeat intervention were performed when duplex ultrasound scans showed 80% or greater ISR. Treatment outcomes of ISR interventions were analyzed.

RESULTS: Over a median 17-month follow-up, 33 (15.9%) ISRs of 60% or greater were found, according to the Doppler criteria. Among them, seven patients (3.4%) with a mean age of 68 years (range, 65-87 years) developed high-grade ISR (> or =80%), and they all underwent further endovascular interventions. Six patients with high-grade ISR were asymptomatic, whereas one remaining patient presented with a transient ischemic attack. Five of seven ISRs occurred within 12 months of CAS, and two occurred at 18 months' follow-up. Treatment indications for initial CAS in these seven patients included recurrent stenosis after CEA (n = 4), radiation-induced stenosis (n = 1), and high-cardiac-risk criteria (n = 2). Treatment modalities for ISR included balloon angioplasty alone (n = 1), cutting balloon angioplasty alone (n = 4), cutting balloon angioplasty with stent placement (n = 1), and balloon angioplasty with stent placement (n = 1). Technical success was achieved in all patients, and no periprocedural complications occurred. Two patients with post-CEA restenosis developed restenosis after ISR interventions, both of whom were successfully treated with cutting balloon angioplasty at 6 and 8 months. The remaining five patients showed an absence of recurrent stenosis or symptoms during a mean follow-up of 12 months (range, 3-37 months). By using the Kaplan-Meier analysis, the freedom from 80% or greater ISR after CAS procedures at 12, 24, 36, and 42 months was 97%, 97%, 96%, and 94%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that ISR after CAS remains uncommon. Successful treatment of ISR can be achieved by endovascular interventions, which incurred no instance of periprocedural complications in our series. Patients who developed ISR after CEA were likely to develop restenosis after IRS intervention. Diligent ultrasound follow-up scans are important after CAS, particularly in patients with post-CEA restenosis.

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