Aim To describe procedural aspects and clinical outcomes in a consecutive series of patients in whom manual aspiration thrombectomy (MAT) was performed as the first treatment modality with other techniques used only in case MAT did not yield recanalization.
Methods A retrospective review of a prospectively acquired acute stroke intervention database was performed. Primary MAT was carried out with a preference for the largest catheter considered to be trackable into the target occlusive lesion. The catheter was wedged into the thrombus followed by manual aspiration with a 20 ml syringe.
Results 112 consecutive patients were evaluated. The median age was 66 years and the median NIH Stroke Scale score was 17. Occlusion locations included the M1 (62%), M2 (8%), internal carotid artery terminus (19%) and the vertebrobasilar artery (11%). Patients with anterior occlusions had tandem extracranial/intracranial occlusive lesions in 18.7% Median time from symptom onset to groin puncture was 267 min, and from groin puncture to recanalization was 70 min. Successful recanalization (defined as Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction (TICI) 2b/3) with primary MAT was 59% with a median of two passes. 41% of patients required the use of adjunctive therapy yielding an overall recanalization rate of TICI 2b/3 (86%) and TICI 3 (30.6%). Parenchymal hematoma of any type (PH1/PH2) was seen in 9.8% of patients, with symptomatic hemorrhage in 6%. Favorable outcomes (90-day modified Rankin Scale ≤2) were 46%. Mortality at 3 months was 31%. Primary MAT was associated with faster procedural times (mean 63 vs 97 min, p<0.0001) but not with higher rates of favorable outcomes.
Conclusions Primary MAT is an alternative endovascular recanalization technique with reasonable first pass efficacy that will likely improve with technology and experience.