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Case series
Intra-arterial versus intravenous abciximab therapy for thromboembolic complications of neuroendovascular procedures: case review and meta-analysis
  1. Akash P Kansagra1,
  2. James D McEachern1,
  3. Thomas P Madaelil1,
  4. Adam N Wallace1,
  5. DeWitte T Cross III1,2,
  6. Christopher J Moran1,2,
  7. Colin P Derdeyn3
  1. 1Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
  2. 2Department of Neurosurgery, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
  3. 3Department of Radiology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Akash P Kansagra, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, 510 South Kingshighway Blvd, Campus Box 8131, Saint Louis, MO 63110, USA; apkansagra{at}


Background Abciximab is used to treat thromboembolic complications of neuroendovascular procedures, but outcomes of treatment are not well defined.

Objective To examine the angiographic and clinical outcomes based on route of abciximab administration and degree of vessel recanalization.

Materials and methods A prospectively maintained database of neuroendovascular procedures performed between January 2004 and May 2015 was retrospectively reviewed to identify cases with thromboembolic complications treated with abciximab. In these cases, route of administration, degree of vessel recanalization, and presence or absence of infarction were determined. A meta-analysis of similar cases in the literature was also performed.

Results Abciximab was administered in 0.24% (47 of 19 566) of procedures to treat thromboemboli in 59 vessels. Angiographic improvement was seen in 94% after IA therapy and 79% after IV therapy (p=0.133). In our meta-analysis of 391 treated patients, angiographic improvement was greater after IA (91.7%) than IV (77.4%) treatment (p<0.001). Postprocedural infarction occurred more frequently with distal lesions (42%) than local lesions (12%) (p=0.014), and occlusive lesions (36%) than non-occlusive lesions (4.8%) (p=0.010). Infarction was significantly less common with complete angiographic resolution (0%) than with partial or no improvement (54%) (p<0.001). Symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage occurred in 2.1%.

Conclusions Abciximab produces a high rate of angiographic improvement and a low incidence of postprocedural infarct in neuroendovascular procedures complicated by thromboemboli. IA abciximab produces greater angiographic improvement than IV treatment. Postprocedural infarction is less common in patients with complete angiographic response than in those with partial or no response.

  • Angiography
  • Complication
  • Brain
  • Thrombolysis
  • Embolic

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  • Contributors APK: conception and design; analysis and interpretation of data; drafting of the article. APK, JDM, TPM, ANW, CJM, DTC, and CPD: acquisition of data; critical revision of the article.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval for this research was obtained from the Washington University in St Louis Human Research Protection Office (project #201505097). The requirement for informed consent was waived given the nature of this work.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.