Quantitative assessment of device-clot interaction for stent retriever thrombectomy

J Neurointerv Surg. 2016 Dec;8(12):1278-1282. doi: 10.1136/neurintsurg-2015-012209. Epub 2016 Feb 1.


Purpose: Rapid revascularization in emergent large vessel occlusion with endovascular embolectomy has proven clinical benefit. We sought to measure device-clot interaction as a potential mechanism for efficient embolectomy.

Methods: Two different radiopaque clot models were injected to create a middle cerebral artery occlusion in a patient-specific vascular phantom. A radiopaque stent retriever was deployed within the clot by unsheathing the device or a combination of unsheathing followed by pushing the device (n=8/group). High-resolution cone beam CT was performed immediately after device deployment and repeated after 5 min. An image processing pipeline was created to quantitatively evaluate the volume of clot that integrates with the stent, termed the clot integration factor (CIF).

Results: The CIF was significantly different for the two deployment variations when the device engaged the hard clot (p=0.041), but not the soft clot (p=0.764). In the hard clot, CIF increased significantly between post-deployment and final imaging datasets when using the pushing technique (p=0.019), but not when using the unsheathing technique (p=0.067). When we investigated the effect of time on CIF in the different clot models disregarding the technique, the CIF was significantly increased in the final dataset relative to the post-deployment dataset in both clot models (p=0.004-0.007).

Conclusions: This study demonstrates in an in vitro system the benefit of pushing the Trevo stent during device delivery in hard clot to enhance integration. Regardless of delivery technique, clot-device integration increased in both clot models by waiting 5 min.

Keywords: CT; Stent; Stroke; Technique; Thrombectomy.