Background Most studies of the treatment for acute basilar occlusion focus on intravenous or intra-arterial thrombolysis whereas data on mechanical thrombectomy as the preferred treatment for acute basilar occlusion are scarce. In this study, data are presented on 28 patients treated with mechanical thrombectomy as the preferred treatment for basilar artery occlusion.
Methods Retrospective study comprising all patients who were treated for acute basilar occlusion at the Karolinska University Hospital from September 2005 to November 2010. Favorable outcome was defined as a modified Rankin score of ≤2 at 3–8 months after thrombectomy.
Results Of 28 patients treated with mechanical thrombectomy, the proportion reaching a favorable outcome was 57% (95% CI 37% to 75%), and if there were no signs of acute infarction prior to treatment the proportion was 73% (95% CI 50% to 89%). Only 21% died (95% CI 8% to 41%).
Conclusions The results for mechanical thrombectomy for basilar artery occlusion were superior to those presented previously for intravenous and intra-arterial thrombolysis. The study suggests that mechanical thrombectomy is a method distinct from therapies based on thrombolysis and that any randomized clinical trial on treatment for acute basilar occlusion must consider mechanical thrombectomy as a separate entity.
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