Rescue stenting versus medical care alone in refractory large vessel occlusions: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Neuroradiology. 2020 May;62(5):629-637. doi: 10.1007/s00234-020-02360-9. Epub 2020 Jan 11.


Purpose: Mechanical thrombectomy (MT) failure is associated with very poor prognosis. Permanent intracranial stenting (PIS) may be useful in such refractory occlusions. However, this strategy requires an aggressive antithrombotic regimen that may be harmful in extended strokes. The aim of this study was to compare clinical outcomes between patients with refractory acute large vessel occlusions (LVOs) treated by PIS versus patients for whom the procedure was stopped without recanalization.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review by searching for articles in PubMed, the Cochrane Library, and from January 2015 to September 2019. Two reviewers independently selected studies comparing PIS after failed MT in addition to usual care versus usual care only. A comparative meta-analysis was performed using random-effects models to estimate odds ratios of favorable clinical outcome at 90 days, defined as a modified Rankin scale 0-2, mortality and symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (SICH).

Results: Four comparative studies were included for a total of 352 patients: 149 in the PIS group versus 203 in the control group. PIS was associated with significantly higher rates of 90-day favorable clinical outcome (odds ratio [OR], 2.87 [95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.77-4.66]; p < 0.001; I2, 0%) and lower mortality (OR, 0.39 [0.16-0.93]; p = 0.03; I2, 43%), whereas SICH rates did not significantly differ (OR, 0.68 [0.37-1.27]; p = 0.23; I2, 0%).

Conclusion: From observational study results, attempting PIS after failed MT seems to improve clinical outcomes without increasing the risk of intracranial bleeding. Randomized trials are needed to confirm these results.

Keywords: Endovascular recanalization; Reperfusion; Stroke; Thrombectomy.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Revascularization
  • Conservative Treatment
  • Endovascular Procedures
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arterial Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Intracranial Arterial Diseases / therapy*
  • Neuroimaging / methods*
  • Stents*
  • Thrombectomy