Carotid artery stenting (CAS) has become a common treatment for carotid artery stenosis. However, complications, such as an ischemic event, can occur with CAS during intra- and post-operative periods. Among these ischemic complications, plaque protrusion into the stent and thrombus on the stent have occurred after CAS. We retrospectively evaluated the temporal profile and treatment options for these complications in 32 consecutive cases who underwent CAS at our hospital between April 2009 and December 2011. The cases were evaluated pre-operatively for risk factors, as well as the plaque morphology and characteristics using computed tomographic angiography (CTA), ultrasound (US), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Post-operatively, lesions were examined by CTA and/or US within 1 week of CAS. As a result, among the 32 cases, 8 experienced plaque protrusions or thrombus, which were treated with medication (anti-platelet and/or anti-coagulation reinforcement). In 7 of these 8 cases, the plaque protrusion or thrombus was stabilized with medication alone. However, the remaining case showed growth and migration of the plaque protrusion or thrombus when treated with medication alone, and therefore, required further endovascular treatment. We identified that a history of symptomatic cerebral infarction and plaques with ulceration were risk factors for plaque protrusion or thrombus formation after CAS, and pre dilatation can decrease the risk of these complications. Medication was effective in most cases of plaque protrusion or thrombus; however, further endovascular treatment was required when medication alone was unsuccessful.
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