JOURNAL ARTICLE

Endovascular treatment of acute carotid occlusion

L Ratanaprasatporn, J A Grossberg, H S Spader, M V Jayaraman
Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery 2013, 115 (12): 2521-3
24239517

OBJECTIVES: Acute cervical carotid occlusion is one of the most challenging scenarios encountered in endovascular stroke treatment.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A retrospective analysis of 11 consecutive non-dissection stroke patients with concomitant cervical carotid and intracranial occlusion treated with intraarterial (IA) mechanical thrombectomy and/or pharmacologic thrombolysis over five years at two academic hospitals was performed. Data was analyzed using Fisher's exact test.

RESULTS: Patients included 3 females and 8 males. Average age was 64.7 years (range 30-94 years). All patients had both cervical carotid and intracranial occlusions. Intracranial occlusion involved the internal carotid artery in 7 patients and the middle cerebral artery in 4 patients. All of the patients received intracranial IA Tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA). Six patients received carotid stents for cervical occlusion as part of their treatment. Five patients received only IA tPA via collateral circulation. Of the patients receiving stents, 5 of 6 (83.3%) had successful recanalization (Thrombolysis in Cerebral Ischemia 2b or 3 flow). Only 1 of 5 (20%) patients who did not receive stents prior to intracranial treatment had successful recanalization. The difference in recanalization rates approached statistical significance (p=.08). There were 4 total in-hospital mortalities: 2 in the group that received stents prior to thrombolysis and 2 in the non-stent group. There were 2 clinically significant hemorrhages in the study, both in the stent group.

CONCLUSIONS: Revascularization of the cervical carotid occlusion prior to treatment of the intracranial occlusion led to increased rates of recanalization in patients with tandem extracranial and intracranial occlusions. Whether a clinical benefit can be consistently derived likely relies on other factors, including the evaluation of cerebral perfusion.

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