Rescue intracranial stenting for failed posterior circulation thrombectomy: analysis from the Stenting and Angioplasty in NeuroThrombectomy (SAINT) study

J Neurointerv Surg. 2023 Sep 12:jnis-2023-020676. doi: 10.1136/jnis-2023-020676. Online ahead of print.


Backgrounds: Recent trials have shown improved outcomes after mechanical thrombectomy (MT) for vertebrobasilar occlusion (VBO) stroke. However, there is a paucity of data regarding safety and outcomes of rescue intracranial stenting (RS) after failed MT (FRRS+) for posterior circulation stroke. We sought to compare RS to failed reperfusion without RS (FRRS-).

Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of the Stenting and Angioplasty in NeuroThrombectomy (SAINT) study, a multicenter collaboration involving prospectively collected databases. Patients were included if they had posterior circulation stroke and failed MT. The cohort was divided into two groups: FRRS+ and FRRS- (defined as modified Thrombolysis In Cerebral Infarction (mTICI) score 0-2a). The primary outcome was a shift in the degree of disability as measured by the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) at 90 days. Secondary outcomes included mRS 0-2 and mRS 0-3 at 90 days. Safety measures included rates of symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (sICH), procedural complications, and 90-day mortality. Sensitivity and subgroup analyses were performed to identify outcomes in a matched cohort and in those with VBO, respectively.

Results: A total of 152 failed thrombectomies were included in the analysis. FRRS+ (n=84) was associated with increased likelihood of lower disability (acOR 2.24, 95% CI 1.04 to 4.95, P=0.04), higher rates of mRS 0-2 (26.8% vs 12.5%, aOR 4.43, 95% CI 1.22 to 16.05, P=0.02) and mRS 0-3 (35.4% vs 18.8%, aOR 3.13, 95% CI 1.08 to 9.10, P=0.036), and lower mortality (42.7% vs 59.4%, aOR 0.40, 95% CI 0.17 to 0.97, P=0.04) at 90 days compared with FRRS- (n=68). The rates of sICH and procedural complications were comparable between the groups. Sensitivity and subgroup analyses showed similar results.

Conclusion: In patients with posterior circulation stroke who had failed MT, RS resulted in better functional outcomes with comparable safety profile to procedure termination.

Keywords: Stent; Stroke; Thrombectomy.