Retrograde angioplasty for basilar artery stenosis: Bypassing bilateral vertebral artery occlusions.
Basilar artery angioplasty with or without stenting is an emerging and promising treatment for vertebrobasilar insufficiency that is refractory to medical therapy. The usual approach is via a transfemoral route, with access directly through the vertebral artery (VA). An approach from the anterior circulation via the posterior communicating artery has been reported for optimal stent positioning and deployment across basilar apex aneurysms. No similar technique has been reported for treatment of midbasilar stenosis. The authors report a case of severe symptomatic basilar stenosis in which both VAs were occluded. The only option was to perform retrograde basilar angioplasty via the posterior communicating artery. This useful technique should be part of the armamentarium for the percutaneous treatment of symptomatic vertebrobasilar insufficiency for the occasional patient in whom occlusion or tortuosity precludes direct access to the VA.