Thrombectomy Outcomes of Intracranial Atherosclerosis-Related Occlusions

Stroke. 2019 Jun;50(6):1460-1466. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.119.024889. Epub 2019 May 14.


Background and Purpose- Intracranial atherosclerosis (ICAS) is an important cause of large vessel occlusion and poses unique challenges for emergent endovascular thrombectomy. The risk factor profile and therapeutic outcomes of patients with ICAS-related occlusions (ICAS-O) are unclear. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies reporting the clinical features and thrombectomy outcomes of large vessel occlusion stroke secondary to underlying ICAS (ICAS-O) versus those of other causes (non-ICAS-O). Methods- A literature search on thrombectomy for ICAS-O was performed. Random-effect meta-analysis was used to analyze the prevalence of stroke risk factors and outcomes of thrombectomy between ICAS-O and non-ICAS-O groups. Results- A total of 1967 patients (496 ICAS-O and 1471 non-ICAS-O) were included. The ICAS-O group had significantly higher prevalence of hypertension (odds ratio [OR] 1.46; 95% CI, 1.10-1.93), diabetes mellitus (OR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.29-2.20), dyslipidemia (OR, 1.94; 95% CI, 1.04-3.62), smoking history (OR, 2.11; 95% CI, 1.40-3.17) but less atrial fibrillation (OR, 0.20; 95% CI, 0.13-0.31) than the non-ICAS-O group. About thrombectomy outcomes, ICAS-O had higher intraprocedural reocclusion rate (OR, 23.7; 95% CI, 6.96-80.7), need for rescue balloon angioplasty (OR, 9.49; 95% CI, 4.11-21.9), rescue intracranial stenting (OR, 14.9; 95% CI, 7.64-29.2), and longer puncture-to-reperfusion time (80.8 versus 55.5 minutes, mean difference 21.3; 95% CI, 11.3-31.3). There was no statistical difference in the rate of final recanalization (modified Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction score of 2b/3; OR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.36-1.27), symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage (OR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.50-1.24), good functional outcome (modified Rankin Scale score of 0-2; OR, 1.16; 95% CI, 0.85-1.58), and mortality (OR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.64-1.39) between ICAS-O and non-ICAS-O. Conclusions- Patients with ICAS-O display a unique risk factor profile and technical challenges for endovascular reperfusion therapy. Intraprocedural reocclusion occurs in one-third of patients with ICAS-O. Intraarterial glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors infusion, balloon angioplasty, and intracranial stenting may be viable rescue treatment to achieve revascularization, resulting in comparable outcomes to non-ICAS-O.

Keywords: angioplasty; atherosclerosis; hypertension; prevalence; thrombectomy.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Angioplasty, Balloon*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / etiology
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arteriosclerosis / complications
  • Intracranial Arteriosclerosis / surgery*
  • Thrombectomy*