Endovascular treatment of symptomatic vertebral artery stenosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Simona Lattanzi, Francesco Brigo, Mario Di Napoli, Claudia Cagnetti, Tommaso Corradetti, Mauro Silvestrini
Journal of the Neurological Sciences 2018 August 15, 391: 48-53

BACKGROUND: The study aim was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of endovascular treatment (EVT) versus medical treatment (MT) in patients with symptomatic vertebral artery (VA) stenosis.

METHODS: Randomized controlled trials with active and control groups receiving EVT plus MT and MT alone in patients with vertebro-basilar transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke and VA stenosis were identified. Primary endpoints included the occurrence of any stroke, any vertebro-basilar stroke, vertebro-basilar ischemic stroke, and vertebro-basilar TIA. Secondary endpoints were myocardial infarction, vascular death, and composite vascular outcome. All endpoints were assessed at short and long-term. Risk ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) have been estimated.

RESULTS: Four trials were included involving 370 participants, 194 and 176 for EVT and MT arms, respectively. There was no overall effect of EVT on the occurrence of any stroke [short-term: RR 3.05 (95% CI 0.33-28.49); long-term: RR 0.75 (95% CI 0.40-1.40)], any vertebro-basilar stroke [short-term RR 3.05 (95% CI 0.33-28.49); long-term RR 0.91 (95% CI 0.42-1.99)], vertebro-basilar ischemic stroke [short-term: RR 1.02 (95% CI 0.07-15.88); long-term RR 1.27 (95% CI 0.36-4.50)], vertebro-basilar TIA [short-term: RR 5.00 (95% CI 0.28-90.18); long-term: RR 0.85 (95% CI 0.39-1.81)]. There were no differences across the treatments in any secondary outcome.

CONCLUSIONS: There were no clear-cut benefits or harms for EVT versus MT alone in patients with symptomatic VA stenosis.

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