Background: Thrombectomy is an effective treatment for acute ischaemic stroke (AIS).
Aims: The aim of this study was to compare clinical outcomes with intracranial artery occlusion site among AIS patients treated in the setting of a cardiology cath lab.
Methods: This was a single-centre, prospective registry of 214 consecutive patients with AIS enrolled between 2012 and 2018. All thrombectomy procedures were performed in a cardiology cath lab with stent retrievers or aspiration systems. The functional outcome was assessed by the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) after three months.
Results: Ninety-three patients (44%) had middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion, 28 patients (13%) had proximal internal carotid artery (ICA) occlusion, 27 patients (13%) had tandem (ICA+MCA) occlusion, 39 patients (18%) had terminal ICA (T-type) occlusion, and 26 patients (12%) had vertebrobasilar (VB) stroke. Favourable clinical outcome (mRS ≤2) was reached in 58% of MCA occlusions and in 56% of isolated ICA occlusions, but in only 31% of T-type occlusions and in 27% of VB stroke. Poor clinical outcome in T-type occlusions and VB strokes was influenced by the lower recanalisation success (mTICI 2b-3 flow) rates: 56% (T-type) and 50% (VB) compared to 82% in MCA occlusions, 89% in isolated ICA occlusions and 96% in tandem occlusions.
Conclusions: Catheter-based thrombectomy achieved significantly better clinical results in patients with isolated MCA occlusion, isolated ICA occlusions or tight stenosis and tandem occlusions compared to patients with T-type occlusion and posterior strokes.
Visual summary. Endovascular intervention of isolated MCA or ICA occlusions provides greatest clinical benefit, while interventions in posterior circulation have lower chance for clinical success.