Objective and importance: Acute ischemic stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. For patients with NIHSS scores >10 and evaluated within 6 hours, intra-arterial thrombolysis is the treatment of choice. The Merci retriever (Concentric Medical Inc., Mountain View, CA) and IV TPA are currently the only FDA-approved treatments for acute ischemic stroke. For patients who do not meet the criteria for TPA administration and/or in whom the Merci device fails, options are limited. Intracranial stenting for acute ischemic stroke after failed thrombolysis is now possible because of improved delivery systems and appropriately sized stents.
Clinical presentation: A 26-year-old woman presented with an NIHSS score of 11 (right-sided hemiparesis and mixed aphasia) 4 hours from the time of symptom onset. CT perfusion demonstrated increased time to peak in the entire left hemisphere; conventional angiography demonstrated a left M1 occlusion.
Intervention: After crossing the occlusion with a microcatheter, reteplase (2 units) was administered into the clot. Mechanical thrombolysis was then attempted, without restoration of flow. Two 3 x 12-mm coronary stents were placed from the M1 into the superior and inferior divisions, respectively, with complete restoration of flow (TIMI 3). Within 72 hours, the patient had an NIHSS score of 1, with a small infarction in the external capsule.
Conclusion: Novel stroke interventions need to be developed for patients with acute ischemic stroke in whom traditional interventions fail. We present (to our knowledge) the first case of successful revascularization of an acute M1 occlusion accomplished with placement of two coronary stents.