Background To date there has been no direct comparison of two frequently used endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) methods (forced arterial suction thrombectomy (FAST) and stent retriever thrombectomy) in M2 occlusions. We review our experiences with EVT performed using FAST and stent retriever thrombectomy in such cases.
Methods The subjects comprised 41 patients with an M2 occlusion who underwent EVT (25 with FAST, 16 with stent retriever thrombectomy). The patients' data were retrospectively analyzed to evaluate the technical characteristics and angiographic outcome of the two EVT techniques.
Results Thrombolysis In Cerebral Infarction (TICI) grades 2b–3 using the first chosen technique did not differ significantly between the two techniques (FAST 64.0% vs stent retriever thrombectomy 81.2%, p=0.305). Time from groin puncture to reperfusion was significantly shorter for stent retriever thrombectomy (53.0 vs 38.5 min; p=0.045). Distal embolization occurred in three cases (12.0%) in the FAST group and in four (26.7%) in the stent retriever group (p=0.362). However, the two techniques did not differ significantly in the final TICI 2b–3 rate (72.0% vs 87.5%; p=0.441). A frequent angiographic finding regarding the failure of FAST was that the M2 occlusion was located immediately after severe acute angulation between M1 and M2.
Conclusions Stent retriever thrombectomy may provide faster reperfusion than FAST, while the FAST technique might be associated with lower distal embolization and a higher reperfusion rate for the first thrombectomy attempt, but without any significant difference in clinical outcome. When choosing the EVT method for M2 occlusions, consideration of the location of the occlusion and tortuosity between M1 and M2 might be helpful to achieve a better angiographic outcome.
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