Techniques for endovascular treatment of acute ischemic stroke

L Pierot, M Gawlitza, S Soize
Revue Neurologique 2017, 173 (9): 594-599
Early recanalization of occluded vessels in patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) by either intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) or endovascular revascularization has been shown to be associated with improved clinical outcomes and reduced mortality. Since the initial report regarding endovascular treatment (EVT) of AIS in 1983, endovascular techniques have been tremendously improved, advancing from intra-arterial administration of thrombolytic drugs to stent retrievers. IVT has been evaluated in several large randomized trials and has been shown to improve clinical outcomes at 90 days if treatment was initiated within 3h of stroke onset, while its benefit at 3-4.5h was subsequently demonstrated in the European Cooperative Acute Stroke Study (ECASS) III. Thus, EVT had to be evaluated against IVT. The first randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were published in 2013, and demonstrated no major differences between IVT and EVT for AIS, although these trials had important limitations. The positive results of the Multicenter Randomized Clinical Trial of Endovascular Treatment for Acute Ischemic Stroke (MR CLEAN) in the Netherlands, followed by five other positive RCTs, finally established the efficacy of mechanical thrombectomy (MT) with stent retrievers (also called 'stentrievers') in AIS due to large vessel occlusion within 6h of stroke onset. Currently, the European and US guidelines recommend MT with stent retrievers as a first-line treatment in the management of AIS. The recent publication of the DWI or CTP Assessment with Clinical Mismatch in the Triage of Wake-Up and Late-Presenting Strokes Undergoing Neurointervention (DAWN) trial is expected to lead to extension of the time window for patients carefully selected by imaging. Thus, optimizing the selection of patients as well as the EVT procedures and techniques used is still an important goal to be evaluated in further trials.

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