Background: Carotid angioplasty with stent placement (CAS) may offer an alternative treatment to carotid endarterectomy (CEA). However, in contrast to CEA, which has been shown to normalize impaired cerebral hemodynamics, the effects of CAS remain unclear. To investigate alterations in cerebral hemodynamics, we prospectively studied patients undergoing CAS and compared them with a group of similar patients undergoing CEA. Methods: Twenty-three patients undergoing CAS for recently symptomatic internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis were prospectively studied. Volume flow in the ICAs and basilar artery (BA) were measured with magnetic resonance volume flow quantification before CAS and 1 month after. The results were compared with those in 13 similar patients undergoing CEA and 40 control subjects without ICA stenosis. Results: After CAS, volume flow in the ipsilateral ICA increased from 114 ± 17 to 231 ± 17 mL/min (P < .001), and total volume flow (ICAs plus BA) increased from 495 ± 24 to 552 ± 28 mL/min (P < .05). No significant changes were seen in the contralateral ICA and BA after CAS. Total volume flow and flow in the stenosed ICA normalized after CAS compared with control subjects. Volume flow values similarly improved after CEA. Conclusions: CAS results in a normalization of impaired cerebral hemodynamics, as assessed by magnetic resonance volume flow measurements. The degree of improvement is similar to that seen after CEA. © 2006 The Society for Vascular Surgery.
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