Although self-expanding carotid stents may dilate gradually, the degrees of residual stenosis have been quantified by the NASCET criteria, which is too simple to reflect the configuration of the stented artery. We measured the volumes of the stent lumens chronologically by 3D-CT in patients after carotid artery stenting (CAS), and analyzed the correlations between the volume change and medical factors. Fourteen patients with carotid artery stenosis were treated using self-expanding, open-cell stents. All patients underwent preoperative plaque MRI (magnetization-prepared rapid acquisition gradient-echo, MPRAGE) and chronological 3D-CT examinations of their stents immediately after their placement and 1 day, 1 week, and 1 month after the procedure. The volume of the stent lumen was measured using a 3D workstation. The correlations between stent volume and various factors including the presence of underlying diseases, plaque characteristics, and the results of the CAS procedure were analyzed. Stent volume gradually increased in each case and had increased by 1.04-1.55 (mean, 1.25)-fold at 1 postoperative month. The presence of underlying medical diseases, plaque length, the degree of residual stenosis immediately after CAS, and plaque calcification did not have an impact on the change in stent volume. On the other hand, the stent volume increase was significantly larger in the patients with vulnerable plaques that demonstrated high MPRAGE signal intensity (P < 0.05). A 3D-CT examination is useful for precisely measuring stent volume. Self-expanding stents in carotid arteries containing vulnerable plaques expand significantly more than those without such plaques in a follow-up period.
Carotid artery stenting
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