Safety and efficacy of mechanical thrombectomy in acute ischemic stroke of anticoagulated patients

J Neurointerv Surg. 2018 Dec;10(12):e29. doi: 10.1136/neurintsurg-2017-013714. Epub 2018 Mar 30.


Background: Anticoagulated patients (APs) are currently excluded from acute ischemic stroke reperfusion therapy with intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (IV-rtPA); however, these patients could benefit from mechanical thrombectomy (MT). Evidence for MT in this condition remains scarce. The aim of this study was to analyze the safety and efficacy of MT in APs.

Methods: We analyzed three patient groups from two prospective registries: APs with MT (AP-MT group), non-anticoagulated patients treated with MT (NAP-MT group), and non-anticoagulated patients treated with IV-rtPA and MT (NAP-IVTMT group). Univariate and multivariate logistic regression were used to evaluate treatment efficacy with modified Rankin Scale (mRS) ≤2 and safety (radiologic intracranial hemorrhage (rICH), symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (sICH) and death rate at 3 months) between groups.

Results: 333 patients were included in the study, with 44 (12%) in the AP-MT group, 105 (31%) in the NAP-MT group, and 188 (57%) in the NAP-IVTMT group. Univariate analysis showed that the AP-MT group was older (P<0.001), more often had atrial fibrillation (P<0001), and had a higher ASPECTS (P<0.006 and P<0.002) compared with the NAP-MT group and NAP-IVTMT groups, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that the AP-MT group had a lower risk of rICH (OR 2.77, 95% CI 1.01 to 7.61, P=0.05) but a higher risk of death at 3 months (OR 0.26, 95% CI 0.09 to 0.76, P=0.01) compared with the NAP-IVTMT group. No difference was found between the AP-MT and NAP-MT groups.

Conclusions: With regard to intracranial bleeding and functional outcome at 3 months, MT in APs seems as safe and efficient as in NAPs. However, there is a higher risk of death at 3 months in the AP-MT group compared with the NAP-IVTMT group.

Keywords: anticoagulant; mechanical thrombectomy; safety; stroke.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravenous
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Brain Ischemia / diagnosis*
  • Brain Ischemia / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mechanical Thrombolysis / adverse effects
  • Mechanical Thrombolysis / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries
  • Stroke / diagnosis*
  • Stroke / therapy*
  • Thrombectomy / adverse effects
  • Thrombectomy / methods
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anticoagulants
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator