When to Stop

Stroke. 2019 Jul;50(7):1781-1788. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.119.025088. Epub 2019 Jun 10.


Background and Purpose- Substantial proportion of patients who achieve successful recanalization of acute ischemic stroke due to large vessel occlusion do not achieve good functional outcome. We aim to analyze the effect of number of thrombectomy device passes and degree of the recanalization (by modified Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction) on the clinical and functional outcome. Methods- Five hundred forty-two consecutive patients underwent mechanical thrombectomy for large vessel occlusion in the anterior circulation at a single tertiary stroke center. Baseline characteristics, number of passes, recanalization degree, clinical outcome at 24 hours (measured by National Institutes of Health Scale score), and functional outcome (measured by modified Rankin Scale at 90 days) were registered. Multivariate analysis was performed to determine the association of number of passes and degree of recanalization with dramatical clinical recovery (final National Institutes of Health Scale score ≤2 or decrease in 8 or more National Institutes of Health Scale score points in 24 hours) and good functional outcome (modified Rankin Scale score ≤2 at 90 days). Results- Four hundred fifty-nine patients (84%) achieved successful recanalization (modified Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction 2B-3), 213 (39%) of them after first device pass. In the multivariate analysis, first-pass recanalization and modified Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction 3 were independent predictors of good functional outcome (odds ratio, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.4-4.5; P=0.002 and odds ratio, 2.6 CI; 1.5-4.7; P=0.001, respectively) and dramatical clinical recovery (odds ratio, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.1-3; P=0.032 and odds ratio, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.7-5.1; P<0.001, respectively). Rate of recanalization declined after each pass 39% (213/542), 35% (113/310), 33% (63/190), and 24% (26/154) for passes 1 to 4, respectively and 28% (45/158) for every attempt above 4 passes ( P<0.001). In patients who achieved recanalization, a linear association between number of passes and good functional outcome was observed: 1 pass (58.6%), 2 passes (50.5%), 3 passes (48.4%), 4 passes (38.5%), or 5 or more passes (25.6%; P<0.001) as compared with patients who did not achieve recanalization (16.9%). Conclusions- High number of device passes and less degree of recanalization are associated with worse outcome in patients with acute ischemic stroke secondary to large vessel occlusion. Future studies should investigate the optimal number of passes that should be attempted in patients without substantial recanalization.

Keywords: National Institutes of Health; cerebral infarction; endovascular procedures; multivariate analysis; prognosis; thrombectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Ischemia / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Ischemia / therapy*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / therapy
  • Computed Tomography Angiography
  • Endovascular Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Endovascular Procedures / methods*
  • Equipment and Supplies / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recovery of Function
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stents
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging
  • Stroke / therapy*
  • Thrombectomy / instrumentation*
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome