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Original research
Comparison of balloon guide catheter versus non-balloon guide catheter for mechanical thrombectomy in patients with distal medium vessel occlusion


Background Several studies have established the safety and efficacy of balloon guide catheters (BGCs) for large vessel occlusions. However, the utility of BGCs remains largely unexplored for distal medium vessel occlusions (DMVOs). In this study, we aim to compare the outcomes of BGC vs. Non-BGC in patients undergoing mechanical thrombectomy (MT) for DMVO.

Method This retrospective study from the Stroke Thrombectomy and Aneurysm Registry (STAR) encompassed adult patients with acute anterior cerebral artery, posterior cerebral artery, and middle cerebral artery-M2–3–4 occlusions. Procedure times, safety, recanalization, and neurological outcomes were compared between the two groups, with subgroup analysis based on first-line thrombectomy techniques.

Results A total of 1508 patients were included, with 231 patients (15.3%) in the BGC group and 1277 patients (84.7%) in the non-BGC group. The BGC group had a lower modified Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction (mTICI) score ≥2C (43.2% vs 52.7%, P=0.01), longer time from puncture to intracranial access (15 vs 8 min, P<0.01), and from puncture to final recanalization (97 vs 34 min, P<0.01). In the Solumbra subgroup, the first pass effect (FPE) rate was lower in the BGC group (17.4% vs 30.7%, P=0.03). Regarding clinical outcomes, the BGC group had a lower rate of distal embolization (8.8% vs 14.9%, P=0.03).

Conclusion Our study found that use of BGC in patients with DMVO was associated with lower mTICI scores, decreased FPE rates, reduced distal embolization, and longer procedure times.

  • Balloon
  • Stroke
  • Thrombectomy
  • Technology

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. The data that support the findings of this study are available from the principal investigator upon reasonable request.

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