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Endovascular treatment of basilar artery occlusion by manual aspiration thrombectomy


Background and purpose Basilar artery occlusion remains one of the most devastating subtypes of stroke. Intravenous and intra-arterial therapy have altered the natural history of this disease; however, clinical results remain poor. Therefore, exploring more aggressive and innovative management is warranted.

Methods Six consecutive patients presenting with a basilar artery occlusion were treated with the same general algorithm of intra-arterial tissue plasminogen activator and mechanical thrombectomy with the Merci retrieval system. If complete recanalization was not achieved after two passes, manual syringe aspiration through a 4.3F catheter was employed.

Results All interventions utilizing aspiration thrombectomy resulted in recanalization, with five out of six cases displaying TIMI3/TICI3 flow and one patient resulting in complete recanalization of the basilar artery with persistent thrombus in one P2 segment (TIMI2/TICI2B). All patients survived, with five out of six independent in activities of daily living at 3 months (mRS 0–2).

Conclusions Our small case series indicates that aspiration thrombectomy performed manually through a 4.3F catheter can facilitate recanalization of basilar artery occlusion with acceptable clinical outcomes.

  • Intra-arterial
  • basilar occlusion
  • aspiration
  • thrombectomy
  • atherosclerosis
  • stroke
  • angiography
  • thrombectomy
  • thrombolysis

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