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Endovascular treatment of vertebral artery dissection using stents and coils: its pitfall and technical considerations.

OBJECTIVE: There are various options for the treatment of vertebral artery dissection aneurysms (VADA). Treatment with stents may be an effective method to treat VADA involving the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) and dissection of the dominant vertebral artery (VA). In this article, our personal experience of the treatment of VADAs by using stents and coils is reported.

METHODS: Since 1998, 26 cases of VADA have been treated by endovascular surgery by the first author. Of these cases, 6 cases were treated using stents, 3 of which were treated using stent and coils, 2 patients were treated using double overlapping stents, and the remaining one patient was treated using a single stent.

RESULTS: In all patients, dissection aneurysms were successfully covered by stents. There was one complication: an intraprocedural rupture during additional coil insertion without neurological deterioration. Follow-up angiography was performed in all 5 surviving patients except for one patient who died due to the severity of his original subarachnoid hemorrhage (mean duration of follow-up angiography 22.8 months, range 15-57 months). Total or subtotal disappearance of the VADA was achieved in all 5 cases. At one year after the treatment, all 5 surviving patients remained clinically stable without any neurological deficit.

CONCLUSIONS: Treatment using stents is an effective alternative for the treatment of VA dissecting aneurysms, especially for lesions of the dominant VA or involving the PICA. However, additional coil insertion should be performed very carefully and may be avoided if stagnation of contrast material is achieved after overlapping stenting.

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