Is Bridging Necessary? A Pilot Study of Bridging versus Primary Stentriever-Based Endovascular Reperfusion in Large Anterior Circulation Strokes

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2015 Jun;24(6):1163-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2015.01.008. Epub 2015 Apr 11.


Background: We aimed to determine whether bridging provides additional benefits over primary stentriever-based endovascular reperfusion (SER) in patients with proximal middle cerebral artery (pMCA) strokes.

Methods: Clinical and radiologic data from consecutive stroke patients with large anterior circulation infarcts involving the pMCA were analyzed. Stroke subtypes were categorized according to Trial of ORG 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment criteria. Neurologic deficits were assessed with the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), and vessel recanalization was determined using the Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction scale at the end of SER. Good outcome was defined as a modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score of 2 or lesser.

Results: Fifty-seven patients with a median age of 66 years were included. Of those, 24 received prior systemic tissue plasminogen activator and 33 received primary SER. Atrial fibrillation was more common in patients who underwent SER but there were no other between-group differences in baseline variables, procedure-related variables, or outcome parameters. Six patients died and 27 patients achieved an mRS of 2 or less at 90 days. Patients who were treated with tPA before SER needed less stentriever passes to recanalize the occluded vessel, but bridging did not impact the chances for either survival or favorable outcome. Age (odds ratio [OR], .92; 95% confidence interval [CI], .85-.98) and NIHSS score (OR, .12; 95% CI, .02-.78) were the only variables associated with outcome on multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: Primary SER and bridging resulted in equally high survival and good outcome rates. Our results suggest that the benefits of primary SER in such critically ill patients may bypass the need for bridging therapy and merit further study.

Keywords: Reperfusion; endovascular; middle cerebral artery; stentriever; stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Ischemia / drug therapy
  • Brain Ischemia / surgery
  • Brain Ischemia / therapy*
  • Endovascular Procedures*
  • Female
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Stents*
  • Stroke / drug therapy
  • Stroke / surgery
  • Stroke / therapy*
  • Thrombolytic Therapy
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator