Background Rapid recanalization of occluded vessels is crucial for good clinical outcome in acute ischemic stroke. Endovascular treatment is usually performed via a transfemoral approach, but catheterization of the carotid arteries can be problematic in cases of difficult anatomy or vascular pathologies in some cases.
Objective To describe our experience with a technique involving surgical access to the carotid artery and consecutive transcarotid endovascular thrombectomy in patients with acute stroke.
Methods In a retrospective review of a prospectively maintained registry we identified 6 patients who underwent acute endovascular thrombectomy via a surgical access to the carotid artery.
Results Admission National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) ranged from 7 to 23. Intracranial recanalization (thrombolysis in cerebral infarction, TICI≥2b) was achieved in all patients (100%). Recanalization was achieved within 19±5 min after establishing carotid access. One patient developed a small neck hematoma, which was surgically removed without complications. No complications related to endovascular therapy were seen. At 3 months’ follow-up, five patients had survived. Three patients (50%) had regained excellent neurological function (modified Rankin Scale, mRS 0–1).
Conclusions Surgical carotid access for endovascular stroke treatment is feasible, with considerable advantages, in patients with expected problematic access or for whom transfemoral endovascular carotid access has failed.
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