Background: Within the Thrombolysis In Cerebral Infarction (TICI) classification, TICI 2b has been historically considered successful recanalization. However, TICI 2b may result in worse functional outcomes compared with TICI 3 or a proposed TICI 2c revascularization grade. The aim of this study was to evaluate differences in functional independence at 90 days between TICI 2b, 2c, and 3 grades.
Methods: A retrospective review of 185 consecutive patients with anterior cerebral circulation occlusions was performed; 33 patients who were treated >8 hours after onset were excluded. Patient angiograms were graded by 2 experienced neurointerventional physicians. Baseline demographics and functional independence at 90 days were compared.
Results: Of 152 patients included in the study, 113 patients achieved TICI grade 2b (n = 37), 2c (n = 34), or 3 (n = 42). A significant difference in functional independence at 90 days was observed between TICI 2b and 2c/3 (P = 0.0008), between 2b and 2c (P = 0.0005), and between 2b and 3 (P = 0.01). There was no significant difference in functional independence between 2c and 3 (P = 0.24).
Conclusions: TICI 2c revascularization is associated with significantly improved outcomes compared with TICI 2b revascularization and similar outcomes compared with TICI 3 revascularization. Using a TICI grading system that includes an additional TICI 2c grade or expands the current definition of TICI 3 allows for refined prediction of functional independence. Achieving TICI 2c/3 reperfusion should be considered during stroke thrombectomy.
Keywords: Cerebral infarction; Large vessel occlusion; Reperfusion; Stroke; TICI 2c; Thrombectomy; Thrombolysis In Cerebral Infarction 2c.
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