Stent-assisted mechanical recanalization for treatment of acute intracerebral artery occlusions

C Roth, P Papanagiotou, S Behnke, S Walter, A Haass, C Becker, K Fassbender, M Politi, H Körner, M-S Romann, W Reith
Stroke; a Journal of Cerebral Circulation 2010, 41 (11): 2559-67

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to demonstrate a new approach to the use of a self-expanding stent in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke.

METHODS: Twenty-two consecutive patients with acute intracerebral artery occlusions were treated with a self-expandable intracranial stent, which was withdrawn in its unfolded state. For this technique, we used the Solitaire AB/FR, which is the only intracranial stent that is fully recoverable. Eight patients had an occlusion of the basilar artery, 12 had a middle cerebral artery occlusion, and 2 had terminal carotid artery occlusions; 6 of these had to be treated first for an acute occlusion originating in the internal carotid artery. Recanalization results were assessed by follow-up angiography immediately after the procedure. Neurologic status was evaluated before and after treatment (90-day follow-up) according to the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale and modified Rankin scale.

RESULTS: Successful revascularization was achieved in 20 of 22 (90.9%) patients (thrombolysis in cerebral infarction [TICI] 2a/b and 3), a TICI 3 state was accomplished in 12 patients, and partial recanalization or slow distal branch filling with filling of more than two-thirds of the vessel territory was achieved in 8 patients (TICI 2b). There was immediate flow restoration in 21 of 22 (95.4%) cases after deployment of the device. The stent was removed in its unfolded state in all patients. The mean time from stroke symptom onset to recanalization was 277 minutes, with a standard deviation of 118 minutes. Mean National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score on admission was 19.4, with a standard deviation of 5.7. Almost two-thirds of the patients (63.6%) improved by > 10 points on the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale at discharge, and 50% showed a modified Rankin scale score of ≤ 2 at 90 days (59% with a modified Rankin scale ≤ 3). Mortality was 18.1%. In 1 case, an asymptomatic intracranial hemorrhage was detected on control computed tomography, and 2 patients had a symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage.

CONCLUSIONS: Withdrawal of an unfolded, fully recoverable, intracranial stent yielded very promising angiographic and clinical results. It combines the advantages of prompt flow restoration and mechanical thrombectomy.

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