Importance: The treatment effects of individual mechanical thrombectomy devices in large-vessel acute ischemic stroke (AIS) remain unclear.
Objective: To determine whether the novel 3-dimensional (3-D) stent retriever used in conjunction with an aspiration-based mechanical thrombectomy device (Penumbra System; Penumbra) is noninferior to aspiration-based thrombectomy alone in AIS.
Design, setting, and participants: This randomized, noninferiority clinical trial enrolled patients at 25 North American centers from May 19, 2012, through November 19, 2015, with follow-up for 90 days. Adjudicators of the primary end points were masked to treatment allocation. Patients with large-vessel intracranial occlusion AIS presenting with a National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score of at least 8 within 8 hours of onset underwent 1:1 randomization to 3-D stent retriever with aspiration or aspiration alone. The primary analyses were conducted in the intention-to-treat population.
Interventions: Mechanical thrombectomy using intracranial aspiration with or without the 3-D stent retriever.
Main outcomes and measures: The primary effectiveness end point was the rate of a modified Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction (mTICI) grade of 2 to 3 with a 15% noninferiority margin. Device- and procedure-related serious adverse events at 24 hours were the primary safety end points.
Results: Of 8082 patients screened, 198 patients were enrolled (111 women [56.1%] and 87 men [43.9%]; mean [SD] age, 66.9 [13.0] years) and randomized, including 98 in the 3-D stent retriever with aspiration group and 100 in the aspiration alone group; an additional 238 patients were eligible but not enrolled. The median baseline NIHSS score was 18.0 (interquartile range, 14.0-23.0). Eighty-two of 94 patients in the 3-D stent retriever and aspiration group (87.2%) had an mTICI grade of 2 to 3 compared with 79 of 96 in the aspiration alone group (82.3%; difference, 4.9%; 90% CI, -3.6% to 13.5%). None of the other measures were significantly different between the 2 groups. Device-related serious adverse events were reported by 4 of 98 patients in the 3-D stent retriever with aspiration group (4.1%) vs 5 of 100 patients in the aspiration only group (5.0%); procedure-related serious adverse events, 10 of 98 (10.2%) vs 14 of 100 (14.0%). A 90-day modified Rankin Scale score of 0 to 2 was reported by 39 of 86 patients in the 3-D stent retriever with aspiration group (45.3%) vs 44 of 96 patients in the aspiration only group (45.8%).
Conclusions and relevance: The present study provides class 1 evidence for the noninferiority of the 3-D stent retriever with aspiration vs aspiration alone in AIS. Future trials should evaluate whether these results can be generalized to other stent retrievers.
Trial registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01584609.