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Original research
Comparison of the efficacy and safety of thrombectomy devices in acute stroke : a network meta-analysis of randomized trials
  1. Hamidreza Saber1,
  2. Gary B Rajah2,
  3. Riyad Y Kherallah3,
  4. Ashutosh P Jadhav4,
  5. Sandra Narayanan1,2
  1. 1 Department of Neurology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan, USA
  2. 2 Department of Neurosurgery, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan, USA
  3. 3 Department of Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan, USA
  4. 4 Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery, UPMC Stroke Institute, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Hamidreza Saber, Department of Neurology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan 48201, USA; hsaber{at}


Introduction Mechanical thrombectomy (MT) is increasingly used for large-vessel occlusions (LVO), but randomized clinical trial (RCT) level data with regard to differences in clinical outcomes of MT devices are limited. We conducted a network meta-analysis (NMA) that enables comparison of modern MT devices (Trevo, Solitaire, Aspiration) and strategies (stent retriever vs aspiration) across trials.

Methods Relevant RCTs were identified by a systematic review. The efficacy outcome was 90-day functional independence (modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score 0–2). Safety outcomes were 90-day catastrophic outcome (mRS 5–6) and symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (sICH). Fixed-effect Bayesian NMA was performed to calculate risk estimates and the rank probabilities.

Results In a NMA of six relevant RCTs (SWIFT, TREVO2, EXTEND-IA, SWIFT-PRIME, REVASCAT, THERAPY; total of 871 patients, 472 Solitaire vs medical-only, 108 Aspiration vs medical-only, 178 Trevo vs Merci, and 113 Solitaire vs Merci) with medical-only arm as the reference, Trevo had the greatest functional independence (OR 4.14, 95% credible interval (CrI) 1.41–11.80; top rank probability 92%) followed by Solitaire (OR 2.55, 95% CrI 1.75–3.74; top rank probability 72%). Solitaire and Aspiration devices had the greatest top rank probability with respect to low sICH and catastrophic outcomes (76% and 91%, respectively), but without significant differences between each other. In a separate network of seven RCTs (MR-CLEAN, ESCAPE, EXTEND-IA, SWIFT-PRIME, REVASCAT, THERAPY, ASTER; 1737 patients), first-line stent retriever was associated with a higher top rank probability of functional independence than aspiration (95% vs 54%), with comparable safety outcomes.

Conclusions These findings suggest that Trevo and Solitaire devices are associated with a greater likelihood of functional independence whereas Solitaire and Aspiration devices appear to be safer.

  • thrombectomy
  • device

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  • Contributors HS participated in the design, statistical analysis and interpretation of the results. HS, GBR, and RYK prepared the manuscript. SN, APJ, HS, and GBR revised the draft paper for intellectual content.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.