Carotid Artery Dynamics during Head Movements: A Reason for Concern with Regard to Carotid Stenting?

A. W.Floris Vos, Matteus A.M. Linsen, J. Tim Marcus, Jos C. Van Den Berg, Jan Albert Vos, Jan A. Rauwerda, Willem Wisselink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To evaluate carotid artery mobility patterns during head movements following carotid angioplasty/stenting (CAS). Methods: In 7 patients (all men; mean age 69 years, range 65-76) who had undergone unilateral CAS, 3D time-of-flight magnetic resonance angiography was performed, visualizing both carotid arteries in 5 different head positions (neutral, turned left and right, and bent forward and backward). Maximum intensity projection reconstructions were obtained to measure angulation at the proximal and distal stent junction. Configuration changes of the stented section of the carotid artery and the unstented contralateral artery were judged. Secondly, transverse sections at the level of the carotid bifurcation and at the skull base were used to calculate torsion shear in the common and internal carotid arteries (CCA, ICA) during turned left and right head position. Results were expressed as median (range). Results: In neutral head position, maximal angulation at the distal stent junction was 34.3° (32.3°-55.6°). With the head bent forward, this angulation changed to 47.6° (42.6°-85.2°, p=0.028) and when bent backward to 26.5° (25.0°-48.7°, p=0.027). In all patients, configuration changes of the stented sections were absent. The contralateral unstented side showed diffuse configuration changes without specific angulation at one location. With the head turned left and right, the CCA on the stented side was subjected to 28.6° (13.6°-53.7°) and 24.9° (2.0°-50.6°) of torsion shear, respectively. Torsion of the ICA was subsequently 18.1° (12.7°-40.5°) and 15.2° (2.9°-69.4°). Conclusions: Following carotid stenting, sharp ICA angulations that are aggravated by forward bending of the head occur at the distal stent junction. The stented section of the carotid artery shows complete lack of flexibility despite highly flexible features of the stents ex vivo. Both the CCA and ICA are subjected to considerable torsion shear with the head turned left and right. This shear is not accommodated by the current stent designs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)862-869
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of endovascular therapy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003


  • Angulation
  • Arterial mobility
  • Common carotid artery
  • Internal carotid artery
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Stent
  • Torsion

Cite this