Intracranial Balloon Angioplasty and Stenting
Ischemic stroke can have multiple causes including clot migration from the heart, narrowing of arteries in the neck, and plaque buildup leading to narrowing of the blood vessels in the brain, which is known as intracranial atherosclerotic disease. Management for patients who have had a stroke due to intracranial atherosclerotic disease includes aggressive medical management with vigilant control of risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes and elevated cholesterol, as well as smoking cessation and antiplatelet medicines. Some patients may be candidates for additional therapies known as intracranial balloon angioplasty or stenting. Balloon angioplasty utilizes endovascular techniques to access the inside of the blood vessel at the region of narrowing, where a balloon is temporarily inflated to expand the narrowed region and restore normal blood flow. A similar technique involves the additional placement of a stent within the blood vessel at the region of narrowing.