Front-line thrombectomy for acute large-vessel occlusion with underlying severe intracranial stenosis: stent retriever versus contact aspiration

Dong-Hun Kang, Woong Yoon, Byung Hyun Baek, Seul Kee Kim, Yun Young Lee, Joon-Tae Kim, Man-Seok Park, Yong-Won Kim, Yong-Sun Kim, Yang-Ha Hwang
Journal of Neurosurgery 2019 March 29, : 1-7

OBJECTIVE: The optimal front-line thrombectomy choice for primary recanalization of a target artery remains unknown for patients with acute large-vessel occlusion (LVO) and an underlying intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis (ICAS). The authors aimed to compare procedural characteristics and outcomes between patients who received a stent-retriever thrombectomy (SRT) and patients who received a contact aspiration thrombectomy (CAT), as the front-line approach for treating LVO due to severe underlying ICAS.

METHODS: One hundred thirty patients who presented with acute LVO and underlying severe ICAS at the occlusion site were included. Procedural characteristics and treatment outcomes were compared between patients treated with front-line SRT (n = 70) and those treated with front-line CAT (n = 60). The primary outcomes were the rate of switching to an alternative thrombectomy technique, time from groin puncture to initial reperfusion, and duration of the procedure. Initial reperfusion was defined as revealing the underlying culprit stenosis with an antegrade flow after thrombectomy.

RESULTS: The rate of switching to an alternative thrombectomy after failure of the front-line technique was significantly higher in the CAT group than in the SRT group (40% vs 4.3%; OR 2.543, 95% CI 1.893-3.417, p < 0.001). The median time from puncture to initial reperfusion (17 vs 31 minutes, p < 0.001) and procedure duration (39 vs 75.5 minutes, p < 0.001) were significantly shorter in the SRT group than in the CAT group. In the binary logistic regression analysis, a longer time from puncture to initial reperfusion was an independent predictor of a 90-day poor (modified Rankin Scale score 3-6) functional outcome (per 1-minute increase; OR 1.029, 95% CI 1.008-1.050, p = 0.006).

CONCLUSIONS: The authors' results suggest that SRT may be more effective than CAT for identifying underlying culprit stenosis and therefore considered the optimal front-line thrombectomy technique in acute stroke patients with LVO and severe underlying ICAS.

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