Background Acute isolated posterior cerebral artery occlusions (aPCAOs) were excluded or under-represented in major randomized trials of mechanical thrombectomy (MT). The benefit of MT in comparison to intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (alteplase; IV-tPA) alone in these patients remains controversial and uncertain.
Methods We performed a systematic search of PubMed, MEDLINE, and EMBASE databases for articles comparing MT with or without bridging IV-tPA and IV-tPA alone for aPCAO using keywords (‘posterior cerebral artery’, ‘thrombolysis’ and ‘thrombectomy’) with Boolean operators. Extracted data from patients reported in the studies were pooled into groups (MT vs IV-tPA alone) for comparison. Estimated rates for favorable outcome (modified Rankin scale score 0–2), symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (sICH), and mortality were extracted.
Results Seven articles (201 MT patients, 64 IV-tPA) were included, all retrospective. There was no statistically significant difference between pooled groups in median age, median presentation National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score, PCAO segment, and median time from symptom onset to puncture or needle. The recanalization rate was significantly higher in the MT group than the IV-tPA group (85.6% vs 53.1%, p<0.00001). Odds ratios for favorable outcome (OR 1.5, 95% CI 0.8 to 2.5), sICH (OR 1.1, 95% CI 0.2 to 5.5), and mortality (OR 1.4, 95% CI 0.5 to 3.6) did not significantly favor any modality.
Conclusions We found no significant differences in odds of favorable outcome, sICH, and mortality in MT and IV-tPA in comparable aPCAO patients, despite superior MT recanalization rates. Equipoise remains regarding the optimal treatment modality for these patients.
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Collaborators Not applicable.
Contributors Conception and design: AM. Acquisition of the data: AM, NR. Analysis and interpretation of the data: all authors. Drafting the manuscript: AM. Critically revising the manuscript: all authors. Reviewed submitted version of manuscript: all authors.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests AM, SK, MW, NR, RHD, NMS, AAB, HHR, JMC--None EIL--Consulting fees: Claret Medical, GLG Consulting, Guidepoint Global, Imperial Care, Medtronic, Rebound, StimMed, Misionix, Mosiac, Clarion, IRRAS. Payment or honoraria for lectures, presentations, speakers bureaus, manuscript writing or educational events: Medtronic; Payment for expert testimony: for rendering medical/legal opinions as an expert. Support for attending meetings and/or travel: Reimbursement for travel and food for some meetings with the CNS and ABNS. Stock or stock options: NeXtGen Biologics, RAPID Medical, Claret Medical, Cognition Medical, Imperative Care, Rebound Therapeutics, StimMed, Three Rivers Medical. AHS—Consulting fees: Amnis Therapeutics, Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc, Boston Scientific, Canon Medical Systems USA, Inc, Cardinal Health 200, LLC, Cerebrotech Medical Systems, Inc, Cerenovus, Cerevatech Medical, Inc, Cordis, Corindus, Inc, Endostream Medical, Ltd, Imperative Care, Integra, IRRAS AB, Medtronic, MicroVention, Minnetronix Neuro, Inc, Penumbra, Q’Apel Medical, Inc, Rapid Medical, Serenity Medical, Inc, Silk Road Medical, StimMed, LLC, Stryker Neurovascular, Three Rivers Medical, Inc, VasSol, Viz.ai, Inc, W.L. Gore & Associates. Leadership or fiduciary role in other board, society, committee or advocacy group: Secretary of the Board of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery, Chair of the Cerebrovascular Section of the AANS/CNS. Stock or stock options: Adona Medical, Inc, Amnis Therapeutics, Bend IT Technologies, Ltd, BlinkTBI, Inc, Buffalo Technology Partners, Inc, Cardinal Consultants, LLC, Cerebrotech Medical Systems, Inc, Cerevatech Medical, Inc, Cognition Medical, CVAID Ltd, E8, Inc, Endostream Medical, Ltd, Imperative Care, Inc, Instylla, Inc, International Medical Distribution Partners, Launch NY, Inc, NeuroRadial Technologies, Inc, Neurotechnology Investors, Neurovascular Diagnostics, Inc, PerFlow Medical, Ltd, Q’Apel Medical, Inc, QAS.ai, Inc, Radical Catheter Technologies, Inc, Rebound Therapeutics Corp. (Purchased 2019 by Integra Lifesciences, Corp), Rist Neurovascular, Inc (Purchased 2020 by Medtronic), Sense Diagnostics, Inc, Serenity Medical, Inc, Silk Road Medical, Adona Medical, Inc, Amnis Therapeutics, Bend IT Technologies, Ltd, BlinkTBI, Inc, Buffalo Technology Partners, Inc, Cardinal Consultants, LLC, Cerebrotech Medical Systems, Inc, Cerevatech Medical, Inc, Cognition Medical, CVAID Ltd, E8, Inc, Endostream Medical, Ltd, Imperative Care, Inc, Instylla, Inc, International Medical Distribution Partners, Launch NY, Inc, NeuroRadial Technologies, Inc, Neurotechnology Investors, Neurovascular Diagnostics, Inc, PerFlow Medical, Ltd, Q’Apel Medical, Inc, QAS.ai, Inc, Radical Catheter Technologies, Inc, Rebound Therapeutics Corp (Purchased 2019 by Integra Lifesciences, Corp), Rist Neurovascular, Inc (Purchased 2020 by Medtronic), Sense Diagnostics, Inc, Serenity Medical, Inc, Silk Road Medical, SongBird Therapy, Spinnaker Medical, Inc, StimMed, LLC, Synchron, Inc, Three Rivers Medical, Inc, Truvic Medical, Inc, Tulavi Therapeutics, Inc, Vastrax, LLC, VICIS, Inc, Viseon, Inc. Other financial or non-financial interests: National PI/Steering Committees: Cerenovus EXCELLENT and ARISE II Trial; Medtronic SWIFT PRIME, VANTAGE, EMBOLISE and SWIFT DIRECT Trials; MicroVention FRED Trial & CONFIDENCE Study; MUSC POSITIVE Trial; Penumbra 3D Separator Trial, COMPASS Trial, INVEST Trial, MIVI neuroscience EVAQ Trial; Rapid Medical SUCCESS Trial; InspireMD C-GUARDIANS IDE Pivotal Trial.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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