Background and purpose Aspiration thrombectomy of large vessel occlusions has made a comeback among recanalization techniques thanks to recent advances in catheter technology resulting in faster recanalization and promising clinical results when used either alone or as an adjunct to stent retriever. This multicenter retrospective study reports angiographic data, complications, and clinical outcome in patients treated with aspiration thrombectomy as the first-line option.
Materials and methods We analysed the clinical and procedural data of patients treated from January 2014 to March 2015. Recanalization was assessed according to the Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction score. Clinical outcome was evaluated at discharge and after 3 months.
Results Overall, 152 patients (mean age 68 years) were treated. Sites of occlusion were 90.8% anterior circulation (including 16.4% tandem extracranial/intracranial occlusions) and 9.2% basilar artery. In 79 patients administration of intravenous tissue plasminogen activator was attempted. Recanalization of the target vessel was obtained in 115/152 cases (75.6%) whereas direct aspiration alone was successful in 83/152 cases (54.6%) with an average puncture to revascularization time of 44.67 min. Symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage occurred in 7.8% and embolization to new territories in 1.9%. 77 patients (50.6%) had a good outcome at 90-day follow-up: 55/96 in the direct aspiration alone group and 22/56 in the aspiration-stent retriever group.
Conclusions Direct aspiration thrombectomy appears a feasible technique with good revascularization results achieved in more than half the patients. In light of the self-reported data, inhomogeneous patient selection, absence of a core imaging laboratory, and a non-standardized approach, the results should be validated in a larger trial.
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