Stent system for intracranial stenosis may benefit repeat stroke victims

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 - Michael Alexander, MD
Michael Alexander, MD

A stent system designed to open blocked arteries in the brain resulted in a complication rate of 2.6 percent for patients with intracranial stenosis and a history of multiple strokes.

"These trial results have the potential to change how stroke patients are treated in the future," lead researcher Michael Alexander, MD, director of the Neurovascular Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said in a press release. "Using approved stents in the brain arteries may give new hope to patients suffering from stroke due to blockages from cholesterol plaque."

Researchers studied 152 patients with intracranial stenosis and at least two previous strokes. After being treated with the Wingspan Stent System manufactured by Stryker, 2.6 percent of them experienced stroke or death within 72 hours. Only patients that failed to respond to other forms of medical therapy were included in the study, according to the release.

These results were first reported at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference on Jan. 25 in Los Angeles.

Stryker sponsored the trial and has paid consulting and speaking fees to Alexander. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the Wingspan system for use in patients with intracranial atherosclerotic disease.