Self-expanding nitinol stents in canine vertebral arteries: Hemodynamics and tissue response

A. K. Wakhloo, F. O. Tio, B. B. Lieber, F. Schellhammer, M. Graf, L. N. Hopkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To evaluate the hemodynamics and tissue response associated with stent placement in low-flow-velocity arteries. METHODS: Six self expanding nitinol stents (5.5 mm caliber) were implanted transfemorally within the proximal segments of vertebral arteries (2.5 mm diameter) in six adult dogs during anticoagulative protection. RESULTS: Control angiograms demonstrated patency and 20% dilatation of air stented arteries. One artery was partially thrombosed 1 week later and subsequently showed a 50% stenosis. Throughout the observation period (4 to 9 months after stenting), the other five arteries remained patent without significant narrowing (≤15%). Small cervical muscle branches originating from the vertebral arteries within the stented segments remained patent. No major branch occlusions of the vertebrobasilar system were detected. Stent migration or kinking did not occur. MR studies of the brain 4 months after implantation revealed no infarcted areas. These findings were confirmed with brain sections. Stented artery specimens showed delayed stent dilatation. A comparison of the total mean thickness of intima covering the five 30- to 40-mm stents removed at 4, 6, end 9 months showed no significant difference (338, 332, and 389 μm, respectively). Histologic findings verified the macroscopic impression of a thicker intima at the inner curve of the stented artery segments and at the junctions of the stent filaments. The shortest (10 mm) stent had the thinnest neointimal growth (155 μm). Stented vessels showed compression of the media with atrophy, but without necrosis or perforation. Scanning electron photomicrographs revealed intact endothelial cell linings with typical elongated cells. CONCLUSIONS: No significant risk of thromboembolic events exists after implanting these nitinol stents in nonatherosclerotic vertebral arteries in dogs. Thicker neointimal growth after stenting may result from either low wall shear stress with possible flow separation or from changes in the shape and size of the stent, or both.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1043-1051
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal studies
  • Interventional instruments, stents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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