Cangrelor dose titration using platelet function testing during cerebrovascular stent placement

Interv Neuroradiol. 2021 Feb;27(1):88-98. doi: 10.1177/1591019920936923. Epub 2020 Jul 1.


Background: Optimal antiplatelet inhibition is vital during cerebrovascular stenting procedures, yet no standardized recommendation exists for antithrombotic therapy in these scenarios. Cangrelor is an intravenous P2Y12 inhibitor with a favorable pharmacokinetic profile for use during neuroendovascular stenting.

Methods: A retrospective review of all neuroendovascular patients who underwent stenting between 1 January 2019 and 22 March 2020 and were treated with cangrelor was conducted. Thirty-seven patients met inclusion criteria.

Results: All patients were administered a bolus of 5 mcg/kg of cangrelor followed by a maintenance infusion. Antiplatelet effects of cangrelor were monitored using platelet reactivity units (PRU). Based on the initial PRU, seven patients' doses were adjusted with subsequent PRUs in or near the goal range of 50-150. One patient experienced an acute intraprocedural occlusion likely related to a subtherapeutic PRU which subsequently resolved with cangrelor dose adjustment and intra-arterial tirofiban administration, and one patient experienced a post-procedure stent occlusion which required a thrombectomy and intra-arterial tirofiban administration. No hemorrhagic complications occurred.

Discussion: Cangrelor utilization during neuroendovascular stenting with maintenance doses of <2 mcg/kg/min with dose adjustments based on platelet function testing has not been previously described. Cangrelor presents many advantages compared to standard therapy in patients undergoing stent placement related to its pharmacokinetic profile, rapid onset of action, ease of transition to oral P2Y12 antiplatelet agents, and measurability.

Conclusion: Cangrelor is a promising alternative to currently available therapies, especially in patients with a high hemorrhagic risk.

Keywords: Antiplatelet therapy; cangrelor; cerebrovascular; stenting; stroke; subarachnoid hemorrhage.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Monophosphate / analogs & derivatives
  • Humans
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors*
  • Purinergic P2Y Receptor Antagonists*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stents


  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Purinergic P2Y Receptor Antagonists
  • Adenosine Monophosphate
  • cangrelor