Higher Risk for Reintervention in Patients after Stenting for Radiation-Induced Internal Carotid Artery Stenosis: A Single-Center Analysis and Systematic Review

Young Erben, Camila Franco-Mesa, David Miller, Giuseppe Lanzino, Bernard R. Bendok, Yupeng Li, Sukhwinder J.S. Sandhu, Kevin M. Barrett, William D. Freeman, Michelle Lin, Josephine F. Huang, Thien Huynh, Houssam Farres, Thomas G. Brott, Albert G. Hakaim, Tara J. Brigham, Nathan D. Todnem, Rabih G. Tawk, James F. Meschia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: This study aimed to review short- and long-term outcomes of all carotid artery stenting (CAS) in patients with radiation-induced (RI) internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis compared with patients with atherosclerotic stenosis (AS). Methods: We performed a single-center, multisite case–control study of transfemoral carotid artery intervention in patients stented for RI or AS. Cases of stented RI carotid arteries were identified using a CAS database covering January 2000 to December 2019. These patients were randomly matched 2:1 with stented patients because of AS by age, sex, and year of CAS. A conditional logistic regression model was performed to estimate the odds of reintervention in the RI group. Finally, a systematic review was performed to assess the outcomes of RI stenosis treated with CAS. Results: There were 120 CAS in 113 patients because of RI ICA stenosis. Eighty-nine patients (78.8%) were male, and 68 patients (60.2%) were symptomatic. The reasons for radiation included most commonly treatment for diverse malignancies of the head and neck in 109 patients (96.5%). The mean radiation dose was 58.9 ± 15.6 Gy, and the time from radiation to CAS was 175.3 ± 140.4 months. Symptoms included 31 transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), 21 strokes (7 acute and 14 subacute), and 17 amaurosis fugax. The mean National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale in acute strokes was 8.7 ± 11.2. In asymptomatic patients, the indication for CAS was high-grade stenosis determined by duplex ultrasound. All CAS were successfully completed. Reinterventions were more frequent in the RI ICA stenosis cohort compared with the AS cohort (10.1% vs. 1.4%). Reinterventions occurred in 14 vessels, and causes for reintervention were restenosis in 12 followed by TIA/stroke in two vessels. On conditional regression modeling, patients with RI ICA stenosis were at a higher risk for reintervention (odds ratio = 7.1, 95% confidence interval = 2.1–32.8; P = 0.004). The mean follow-up was 33.7 ± 36.9 months, and the mortality across groups was no different (P = 0.12). Conclusions: In our single-center, multisite cohort study, patients who underwent CAS for RI ICA stenosis experienced a higher rate of restenosis and a higher number of reinterventions compared with CAS for AS. Although CAS is safe and effective for this RI ICA stenosis cohort, further data are needed to reduce the risk of restenosis, and close patient surveillance is warranted. In our systematic review, CAS was considered an excellent alternative option for the treatment of patients with RI ICA stenosis. However, careful patient selection is warranted because of the increased risk of restenosis on long-term follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
StatePublished - May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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