Our goal was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of stenting of venous sinus stenosis (VSS) in patients with medically-refractory, medically-intolerant or fulminant idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) in a prospective, observational study.
Thirteen patients with IIH who were refractory or intolerant to medical therapy or who presented with fulminant visual field (VF) loss underwent stenting of VSS at the transverse-sinus sigmoid sinus junction, using a Precise Pro carotid stent system (Cordis). Inclusion criteria included papilledema-related VF loss with mean deviation (MD) worse than or equal to -6.00 dB, elevated opening pressure (OP) on lumbar puncture (LP), VSS (either bilateral or unilateral in a dominant sinus), and an elevated (≥8 mm Hg) trans-stenotic gradient (TSG). The main outcome measures were pre- to post-stent change in symptoms related to intracranial hypertension, MD (in dB) on automated (Humphrey) VFs, grade of papilledema (1-5), retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness as measured by spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT), TSG (mm Hg), and OP on LP (cm H20).
Improvement or resolution of headaches occurred in 84.7% of patients, pulse-synchronous tinnitus in 100%, diplopia in 100%, and transient visual obscuration in 100%. Out of 26 eyes, 21 showed an improvement in MD, with an average improvement of +5.40 dB. Of 24 eyes with initial papilledema, 20 showed an improvement in Frisen grade, (mean change in grade of 1.90). Of 23 eyes undergoing SD-OCT, 21 (91.3%) demonstrated a reduction in RNFL thickness, with a poststent mean thickness of 90.48 μm. Mean change in OP was -20 cm H2O (reduction in mean from 42 to 22 cm H20) with all subjects demonstrating a reduction, although a second stenting procedure was necessary in one patient. Complications of the stenting procedure included one small, self-limited retroperitoneal hemorrhage, transient head or pelvic pain, and one allergic reaction to contrast. No serious adverse events occurred.
Stenting of VSS is safe and results in reduction of intracranial pressure in patients with IIH. This is associated with improvement in papilledema, RNFL thickness, VF parameters, and symptoms associated with intracranial hypertension.