Mechanical thrombectomy in acute basilar artery occlusion: A safety and efficacy single centre study

Interv Neuroradiol. 2016 Jun;22(3):310-7. doi: 10.1177/1591019916631145. Epub 2016 Feb 22.


Objectives: The objective of this study was to add more evidence about the efficacy and safety of mechanical thrombectomy in patients with basilar artery occlusion and secondarily to identify prognostic factors.

Methods: Twenty-two consecutive patients (mean age 60.5 years, 15 men) with basilar artery occlusion treated with mechanical thrombectomy were included. Clinical, procedure and radiological data were collected. Primary outcomes were the modified Rankin scale score with a good outcome defined by a modified Rankin scale score of 0-2 and mortality rate at three months.

Results: The median National Institutes of Health stroke scale at admission was 24 (interquartile range 11.5-31.25). Twelve patients (54.5%) required tracheal intubation due to a decreased level of consciousness. Successful recanalisation (modified treatment in cerebral ischaemia scale 2b-3) was achieved in 20 patients (90.9%). A favourable clinical outcome (modified Rankin scale score 0-2) was observed in nine patients (40.9%) and the overall mortality rate was 40.9% (nine patients). Haemorrhagic events were observed in three patients (13.63%). A decreased level of consciousness requiring intubation in the acute setting was more frequent in patients with poor outcomes (84.6%) than in patients with favourable outcomes (11.1%), and in patients who died (100%) compared with those who survived (23.1%), with a statistically significant difference (P = 0.002 and P = 0.001, respectively).

Conclusion: Mechanical thrombectomy is feasible and effective in patients with acute basilar artery occlusion. A decreased level of consciousness requiring tracheal intubation seems to be a prognostic factor and is associated with a poor clinical outcome and higher mortality rate. These initial results must be confirmed by further prospective studies with a larger number of patients.

Keywords: Stroke; basilar artery; endovascular procedures; thrombectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / mortality
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / surgery*
  • Basilar Artery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mechanical Thrombolysis / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Treatment Outcome