Introduction: Acute stroke from occlusion of the intracranial internal carotid artery (ICA) is associated with a poor clinical outcome despite a thrombolytic treatment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcome of mechanical thrombectomy using the Solitaire stent for the treatment of acute stroke patients with intracranial ICA occlusion.
Methods: A total of 104 consecutive patients with acute stroke were treated with mechanical thrombectomy using the Solitaire stent as a first-line intra-arterial treatment. We retrospectively reviewed data from 26 of these patients who presented with acute stroke attributable to intracranial ICA occlusion. Rescue treatments in cases of failed Solitaire thrombectomy included intra-arterial urokinase, angioplasty, and forced suction thrombectomy. Successful recanalization was defined as thrombolysis in cerebral ischemia grades 2b to 3. Outcome measure was the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score of 0-2 at 3 months.
Results: Successful recanalization was achieved in 77% (20/26) of patients. Recanalization was achieved with the Solitaire stent alone in 69% (18/26) of patients. Ten patients (39%) had a good clinical outcome (mRS score of 0-2) at 3 months. There was a good outcome in 50% of patients (10/20) with recanalization and no good outcome in patients (0/6) without recanalization (P = 0.027). None of eight patients who received rescue treatments showed a good outcome. No symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage occurred. Mortality was 8% (2/26) at 3 months.
Conclusion: Mechanical thrombectomy using the Solitaire stent can achieve a high rate of successful recanalization and a very low rate of symptomatic hemorrhage and thus improve a clinical outcome in patients with acute intracranial ICA occlusion.