Purpose: To evaluate retrospectively the outcome for patients with acute ischemic stroke in the territory of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) who had undergone stent implantation in the proximal segment of the internal carotid artery (ICA) in addition to intraarterial thrombolysis (IAT).
Materials and methods: Stent implantation and retrospective analysis of clinical and radiologic data were approved by the institutional ethical committee. Endovascular treatment was performed after obtaining informed consent from patients or their closest relatives. Informed consent for retrospective review was not required. After pharmacologic and/or mechanical IAT, 25 consecutive patients (seven women, 18 men; mean age, 59 years +/- 14 [standard deviation]) underwent stent implantation in the proximal segment of the ICA (endovascular group). The clinical and radiologic characteristics (ie, interval from symptom onset to arrival at the emergency department, prevalence of vascular risk factors, causes of stroke, stroke severity, early signs of cerebral ischemia, duration of endovascular intervention, type of occlusion, and prevalence of leptomeningeal collateral vessels), recanalization rates, and clinical outcomes for patients in the endovascular group were compared with those for patients in the medical group (10 women, 21 men; mean age, 62 years +/- 12) who experienced ischemic stroke in the territory of the MCA as a result of ICA occlusion and who received antithrombotic treatment only. Differences between groups were assessed by using the chi2 test. A logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the effect of clinical and radiologic factors on recanalization rates and outcome.
Results: ICA recanalization was successful in 21 patients. Good recanalization of the MCA was achieved in 11 patients. In nine of these patients, recanalization of the MCA was achieved by using mechanical IAT only. In the remaining 12 patients, administration of intraarterial urokinase was performed in addition to mechanical thrombolysis. Two patients from the endovascular group experienced symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage. At 3 months, 56% of the endovascular group and 26% of the medical group had a favorable outcome. Mortality was 20% in the endovascular and 16% in the medical group.
Conclusion: IAT and stent implantation in the proximal segment of the ICA seem to improve the outcome for patients with ischemic stroke caused by occlusion of the cervical portion of the ICA.