ARTS (Aspiration-Retriever Technique for Stroke): Initial clinical experience

Interv Neuroradiol. 2016 Jun;22(3):325-32. doi: 10.1177/1591019916632369. Epub 2016 Feb 22.


Background: A new generation of highly navigable large-bore aspiration catheters and retriever devices for intracranial mechanical thrombectomy has markedly improved recanalization rates, time and clinical outcomes. We report collected clinical data utilizing a new technique based on combined large lumen aspiration catheter and partially resheathed stent retriever (ARTS: Aspiration (catheter)-(stent) Retriever Technique for Stroke). This technique is applied, especially in presence of bulky/rubbery emboli, when resistance is felt while retracting the stent retriever; at that point the entire assembly is locked and removed in-toto under continuous aspiration with additional flow arrest.

Methods: A retrospective data analysis was performed to identify patients with large cerebral artery acute ischemic stroke treated with ARTS. The study was conducted between August 2013 and February 2015 at a single high volume stroke center. Procedural and clinical data were captured for analysis.

Results: Forty-two patients (median age 66 years) met inclusion criteria for this study. The ARTS was successful in achieving Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction (TICI) ≥2b revascularization in 97.6% of cases (TICI 2b = 18 patients, TICI 3 = 23 patients). Patients' median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score at admission was 18 (6-40). A 3-month follow-up modified Rankin Scale value of 0-2 was achieved in 65.7% of the successfully treated patients (average 2.4). Two patients (4.8%) developed symptomatic intraparenchymal hemorrhages. Six procedure unrelated deaths were observed.

Conclusions: We found that ARTS is a fast, safe and effective method for endovascular recanalization of large vessel occlusions presenting within the context of acute ischemic stroke.

Keywords: Stroke; TICI; aspiration catheter; mechanical thrombectomy; stent retriever.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain Ischemia / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Ischemia / surgery*
  • Catheters*
  • Computed Tomography Angiography
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Thrombosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Thrombosis / surgery*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Mechanical Thrombolysis / instrumentation*
  • Patient Selection
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging
  • Stroke / surgery*
  • Suction
  • Treatment Outcome