Background: To describe preliminary experiences and the procedural details of retrieval thrombectomy using a self-expanding and fully retrievable Solitaire stent (ev 3 Inc., CA, USA) in acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients with large artery occlusions.
Methods: Eight patients with AIS were treated by mechanical thrombectomy using a self-expanding, fully retrievable stent (Solitaire, ev 3 Inc., CA, USA). The stent was deployed to cover the whole intra-arterial clot and then it was slowly retrieved while occluding the internal cerebral artery (ICA) with a balloon guiding catheter. Additionally, continuous negative pressure was applied through the balloon guiding catheter with a specially designed gun device. Occlusion sites were M1 in six cases including one combined supraclinoid ICA occlusion and the other combined M2 occlusion, M2 in 1 case and one basilar artery top.
Results: Complete recanalization was achieved in all patients. Procedure time was 45 min or less in seven cases and 70 min in one case. Distal emboli occurred in one case in which the balloon guide catheter was not used. Only in this case was intraarterial fibrinolytics infusion necessary. There was no post-operative intracranial hemorrhage.
Conclusions: In our experience, retrieval thrombectomy with the Solitaire stent was a simple and effective method for reopening large cerebral arteries in AIS patients.