Background In light of recent positive trial data for endovascular therapy in acute ischemic stroke (AIS), stent retriever use by practitioners without prior experience with these devices may become more common.
Objective To assess the safety and efficacy of thrombectomy for AIS using Solitaire for patients treated in the roll-in period of the Solitaire With the Intention For Thrombectomy (SWIFT) trial, which represented the first clinical use of the device for these interventionalists.
Methods Prospectively collected demographic, clinical, and angiographic data on patients treated in the initial roll-in and subsequent randomized phases of the SWIFT study were collected and analyzed. Key statistical analyses were validated by an independent external statistician.
Results Patients in the roll-in period achieved equivalently high rates of reperfusion (55%) compared with those treated with the device in the randomized phase (61%). Rates of adverse events were comparable (13% vs 9%). Rates of good neurological outcome were equivalent between the roll-in and randomized patients treated with Solitaire (63% vs 58%). Including the roll-in patients strengthened the conclusions of the study, that reperfusion rates without symptomatic hemorrhage with Solitaire were greater than with Merci (59% vs 24%, p<0.001).
Conclusions Thrombectomy in AIS using the Solitaire stent retriever device can be performed safely and effectively when used by experienced neurointerventionalists without previous experience with the device.
Trial registration number The SWIFT study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT 01054560.