Switching strategy for mechanical thrombectomy of acute large vessel occlusion in the anterior circulation

Stroke. 2013 Dec;44(12):3577-9. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.113.002673. Epub 2013 Sep 10.


Background and purpose: We introduce the concept of a switching strategy for mechanical thrombectomy with period-to-period analysis. In period 1, forced arterial suction thrombectomy with a Penumbra reperfusion catheter was performed, even in difficult cases; in period 2, forced arterial suction thrombectomy was initially performed, with switching to Solitaire in difficult cases.

Methods: We analyzed 135 consecutive patients treated with mechanical thrombectomy with acute large vessel occlusion in the anterior circulation, 61 from period 1 and 74 from period 2. We defined difficult case for both periods as ≥3 failed attempts at recanalization.

Results: Period 2 showed a trend for better angiographic outcome of Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction 2b-3 (73.8%, period 1 versus 85.1%, period 2; P=0.10). In interperiod subgroup analysis of difficult cases, switching significantly outperformed nonswitching in Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction 2b-3 recanalization (52.7% versus 82.9%; P=0.030). Differences in puncture-to-recanalization time, symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage incidence, and procedure-related complications were not statistically significant.

Conclusions: A switching strategy using 2 mechanical thrombectomy techniques (forced arterial suction thrombectomy to Solitaire) may harbor better angiographic outcomes than a 1 technique only strategy (forced arterial suction thrombectomy).

Keywords: acute stroke; mechanical thrombectomy; switching strategy.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain Ischemia / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Thrombosis / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Stents
  • Stroke / surgery*
  • Thrombectomy / instrumentation
  • Thrombectomy / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome