Traditional Thrombus Composition and Related Endovascular Outcomes: Catching up with the Recent Evidence

Neurointervention. 2024 Apr 4. doi: 10.5469/neuroint.2024.00087. Online ahead of print.


Endovascular thrombectomy is the primary treatment for acute intracranial vessel occlusion and significantly improves recanalization success rate. However, achieving optimal recanalization remains a challenge. The histopathological components of thrombus composition play a crucial role in determining endovascular outcomes. This review aimed to consolidate the recent evidence on the impact of thrombus composition on mechanical properties and endovascular outcomes. The relationship between thrombus composition and mechanical properties was significant, with fibrin and/or platelet-rich thrombi being stiff, tough, elastic, and less deformable; fibrin-rich thrombi were sticky and had higher friction with the vessel wall. Erythrocyte composition was positively associated with successful recanalization, whereas lower platelet composition was associated with specific outcomes, such as the first-pass effect and complete recanalization. The number of thrombectomy device passes was possibly related to erythrocyte, platelet, and fibrin composition, with a smaller number of passes associated with erythrocyte-rich thrombi. Procedural time was consistently related to thrombus composition, with shorter times observed for erythrocyte-rich thrombi. The relationship between thrombus composition and secondary embolism remains inconclusive. Understanding the role of thrombus composition in endovascular outcomes is crucial to optimize stroke treatment. Although evidence suggests a link between thrombus composition and mechanical properties, further research is needed to establish stronger correlations and to reduce study variations. Exploring non-traditional thrombus components such as leukocytes and neutrophil extracellular traps is vital. Thrombus imaging could provide a practical solution for predicting thrombus composition before endovascular procedures. This review highlights the importance of thrombus composition for enhancing endovascular stroke treatment strategies.

Keywords: Histology; Outcome; Stroke; Thrombectomy; Thrombus.