First Pass Effect: A New Measure for Stroke Thrombectomy Devices

Stroke. 2018 Mar;49(3):660-666. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.117.020315. Epub 2018 Feb 19.


Background and purpose: In acute ischemic stroke, fast and complete recanalization of the occluded vessel is associated with improved outcomes. We describe a novel measure for newer generation devices: the first pass effect (FPE). FPE is defined as achieving a complete recanalization with a single thrombectomy device pass.

Methods: The North American Solitaire Acute Stroke Registry database was used to identify a FPE subgroup. Their baseline features and clinical outcomes were compared with non-FPE patients. Clinical outcome measures included 90-days modified Rankin Scale score, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score, mortality, and symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage. Multivariate analyses were performed to determine whether FPE independently resulted in improved outcomes and to identify predictors of FPE.

Results: A total of 354 acute ischemic stroke patients underwent thrombectomy in the North American Solitaire Acute Stroke registry. FPE was achieved in 89 out of 354 (25.1%). More middle cerebral artery occlusions (64% versus 52.5%) and fewer internal carotid artery occlusions (10.1% versus 27.7%) were present in the FPE group. Balloon guide catheters were used more frequently with FPE (64.0% versus 34.7%). Median time to revascularization was significantly faster in the FPE group (median 34 versus 60 minutes; P=0.0003). FPE was an independent predictor of good clinical outcome (modified Rankin Scale score ≤2 was seen in 61.3% in FPE versus 35.3% in non-FPE cohort; P=0.013; odds ratio, 1.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-2.7). The independent predictors of achieving FPE were use of balloon guide catheters and non-internal carotid artery terminus occlusion.

Conclusions: The achievement of complete revascularization from a single Solitaire thrombectomy device pass (FPE) is associated with significantly higher rates of good clinical outcome. The FPE is more frequently associated with the use of balloon guide catheters and less likely to be achieved with internal carotid artery terminus occlusion.

Keywords: Solitaire; first pass; recanalization; stent retriever; stroke; thrombectomy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Ischemia* / mortality
  • Brain Ischemia* / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages* / mortality
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages* / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Registries*
  • Stroke* / mortality
  • Stroke* / surgery
  • Thrombectomy* / instrumentation
  • Thrombectomy* / methods
  • United States / epidemiology