Extracranial carotid artery occlusion or high-grade stenosis with concomitant intracranial embolism causes severe ischemic stroke and shows poor response rates to intravenous thrombolysis (IVT). Endovascular therapy (EVT) utilizing thrombectomy assisted by carotid stenting was long considered risky because of procedural complexities and necessity of potent platelet inhibition-in particular following IVT. This study assesses the benefits and harms of thrombectomy assisted by carotid stenting and identifies factors associated with clinical outcome and procedural complications. Retrospective single-center analysis of 47 consecutive stroke patients with carotid occlusion or high-grade stenosis and concomitant intracranial embolus treated between September 2011 and December 2014. Benefits included early improvement of stroke severity (NIHSS ≥ 10) or complete remission within 72 h and favorable long-term outcome (mRS ≤ 2). Harms included complications during and following EVT. Mean age was 64.3 years (standard deviation ±12.5), 40 (85%) patients received IVT initially. Median NIHSS was 16 (inter-quartile range 14-19). Mean time from stroke onset to recanalization was 311 min (standard deviation ±78.0). Early clinical improvement was detected in 22 (46%) patients. Favorable outcome at 3 months occurred in 32 (68%) patients. Expedited patient management was associated with favorable clinical outcome. Two (4%) patients experienced symptomatic hemorrhage. Eight (17%) patients experienced stent thrombosis. Four (9%) patients died. Thrombectomy assisted by carotid stenting seems beneficial and reasonably safe with a promising rate of favorable outcome. Nevertheless, adverse events and complications call for additional clinical investigations prior to recommendation as clinical standard. Expeditious patient management is central to achieve good clinical outcome.
Keywords: Carotid stenting; Early improvement; Stroke; Thrombectomy.