Background Artificial stroke models can be used for testing various thrombectomy devices.
Objective To determine the value of combined stentriever–aspiration thrombectomy compared with the stentriever-alone approach.
Methods We designed an in vitro model of the intracranial circulation with a focus on the middle cerebral artery (MCA) that closely resembles the human intracranial circulation. After introducing fresh clot in the MCA, we used conventional biplane angiography and microangiographic fluoroscopy to compare recanalization rates and occurrence of emboli in new, unaffected territory for thrombectomy approaches in which a stentriever (Solitaire flow restoration stentriever, Covidien) was used alone or in combination with continuous manual aspiration through a Navien catheter (Covidien).
Results In a total of 22 experiments (11 for each approach), successful clot delivery to the MCA was achieved in all cases. Successful angiographic recanalization (thrombolysis in cerebral infarction score of 2b–3) was achieved more frequently with the combined stentriever–aspiration approach than with the stentriever-alone approach (in 10 vs 4 experiments, p=0.023). Emboli in new territory occurred in three experiments with the stentriever-alone approach, and none were seen with the combined approach (p=0.21).
Conclusions The combined stentriever–aspiration approach to thrombectomy leads to better angiographic recanalization rates than use of the stentriever alone. Further experiments are needed to test the value of balloon-guide catheters and aspiration performed using other types of catheters and modes of aspiration.
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