Staged angioplasty versus regular carotid artery stenting in patients with carotid artery stenosis at high risk of hyperperfusion: a randomised clinical trial

Background and purpose

Hyperperfusion (HP) is a devastating complication associated with carotid artery stenting (CAS) or endarterectomy. The efficacy and safety of staged angioplasty (SAP) in patients with CAS at high risk of HP remains unclear. We sought to determine whether SAP is superior to regular CAS in patients with high risk of HP.


A randomised, multicentre open-label clinical trial with blinded outcome assessment (STEP) was conducted. Patients with severe carotid stenosis at high risk of HP were randomly assigned (1:1) to the SAP or regular CAS group. The primary endpoint was hyperperfusion syndrome (HPS) and intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) within 30 days after the procedure.


From November 2014 to January 2017, a total of 64 patients were enrolled in 11 centres. 33 patients were allocated to the SAP group and 31 to the regular CAS group. At 30 days, the rate of primary endpoint was 0.0% (0/33) in the SAP group and 9.7% (3/31) in the regular CAS group (absolute risk reduction (ARR), 9.7%; 95% CI –20.1% to 0.7%; p=0.11). As one of the secondary endpoints, the incidence of HP phenomenon (HPP) was lower in the SAP group than the regular CAS group (0.0% vs 22.6%, ARR,–22.6%; 95% CI –36.8% to –10.2%; p=0.04).


The rate of HPS and ICH was not significantly lower in SAP group; the extended secondary endpoint of HPP, however, significantly reduced, which suggested that SAP may be a safe and effective carotid revascularisation procedure to prevent HP.

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