Introduction The advancement of technology has allowed the development of new catheters that may provide safe intracranial navigation.
Objective To report our first experience with the direct aspiration first pass technique in small arteries as the primary method for recanalization with the Penumbra 3MAX cerebral reperfusion catheter.
Methods A retrospective case series analysis study of patients with acute ischemic stroke endovascularly treated with the direct aspiration technique using the 3MAX reperfusion catheter in our hospital in the past year.
Results We treated six patients in our hospital for acute ischemic stroke using the 3MAX aspiration catheter as first choice. The patients had a median National Institutes of Health Strokes Scale (NIHSS) score of 12 (range 10–17) at admission, with occlusions of an M2 segment of a middle cerebral artery (MCA) treated through an anterior communicating artery, pericallosal artery, P2 artery, and M2-MCA and M3-MCA arteries. Recanalization (TICI 2b–3) was achieved in all cases and no complications occurred. It was not necessary to combine treatment with a stent retriever in any of the patients. All the patients showed early neurological improvement. The median NIHSS score at discharge was 1 (0–3) and 5/6 (83%) patients had a modified Rankin Scale score 0–2 at discharge.
Conclusions Our initial experience suggests that treatment of distal cerebrovascular occlusions with the 3MAX catheter is feasible. We achieved complete recanalization in all cases without unexpected complications while obtaining good clinical results. However, larger studies are necessary to establish its benefits and its safety.
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