Purpose: The aim of the study was to examine the effects of mechanical thrombectomy using the Solitaire stent in patients with thromboembolic occlusions of the intracranial carotid artery bifurcation (carotid T) or middle cerebral artery (MCA) and to compare the results with a historical cohort treated with local intraarterial thrombolysis using urokinase.
Methods: The time intervals from stroke onset to treatment, recanalization rates, occlusion sites, recanalization times and functional outcomes on the modified Rankin scale at 3 months in 25 patients treated with the Solitaire stent between 2010 and 2011 were evaluated. The data were compared with those of a historical cohort of 62 patients treated with local intraarterial thrombolysis between 1992 and 2001.
Results: A total of 15 out of 25 (60%) patients treated with mechanical thrombectomy and 25 out of 62 (40%) treated with local intraarterial thrombolysis achieved a modified Rankin score of ≤2 (p = 0.07). Occlusion sites, intervals from stroke onset to treatment and rates of parenchymal hematomas, 3 out of 25 (12%) versus 8 out of 62 (13%), were similar in both cohorts while the recanalization rate was significantly higher, 22 out of 25 (88%) versus 33 of 62 (53%), in the mechanical thrombectomy group (p ≤ 0.01).
Conclusion: The data show that mechanical thrombectomy is superior to local intraarterial thrombolysis with respect to the recanalization rate in patients with thrombeoembolic carotid T or MCA occlusions.