Background Embolic stroke with large vessel occlusion (LVO) is a major adverse event during ventricular assist device (VAD) support. In this study we aimed to clarify the efficacy of, and problems associated with, endovascular treatment (EVT) of LVO in patients with VAD support.
Methods We retrospectively reviewed EVT for LVO in patients with VAD support between 2006 and 2017 at our institute and evaluated baseline characteristics, treatment variables, outcomes, and complications.
Results The study cohort comprised 12 consecutive patients (age 35.4±20.4 years), with 15 LVO events involving 20 arterial occlusions, who had undergone EVT. The median Alberta Stroke Program Early CT score was 10 and good collaterals were observed in 10 of 17 occluded middle cerebral artery areas. No study patients had received intravenous thrombolysis therapy. EVT was performed on 18 of the 20 occluded arteries and mechanical thrombectomy on 13 vessels. The successful reperfusion (modified Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction grade ≥2 b) rate was 67% in all EVTs and 85% with mechanical thrombectomy. Histological analysis showed fibrin-rich thrombi in four of five samples. Seven of 12 patients (58%) maintained their neurological function (modified Rankin Scale score ≤2 or equal to pre-stroke score) at 90 days. Periprocedural complications comprised two symptomatic intracranial hemorrhages and the 90-day mortality rate was 13%. Seven of 10 cardiac transplant candidates (70%) returned to the waiting list and three of them received transplants.
Conclusions Endovascular therapy for acute LVO stroke is feasible even in patients with VAD support.
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