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This article is the authors’ final published version in Journal of the American Heart Association, Volume 10, Issue 12, June 2021, Article number e020195.

The published version is available at Copyright © Al Kasab et al.


Background: Some emergent large vessel occlusions (ELVOs) are refractory to reperfusion because of underlying intracranial atherosclerosis (ICAS), often requiring rescue therapy (RT) with balloon angioplasty, stenting, or both. In this study, we investigate the safety, efficacy, and long-term outcomes of RT in the setting of mechanical thrombectomy for ICAS-related ELVO.

Methods and Results: We queried the databases of 10 thrombectomy‐capable centers in North America and Europe included in STAR (Stroke Thrombectomy and Aneurysm Registry). Patients with ELVO who underwent ICAS‐related RT were included. A matched sample was produced for variables of age, admission National Institute of Health Stroke Scale, Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score, onset to groin puncture time, occlusion site, and final recanalization. Out of 3025 patients with MT, 182 (6%) patients required RT because of underlying ICAS. Balloon angioplasty was performed on 122 patients, and 117 patients had intracranial stenting. In the matched analysis, 141 patients who received RT matched to a similar number of controls. The number of thrombectomy passes was higher (3 versus 1, P<0.001), and procedural time was longer in the RT group (52 minutes versus 36 minutes, P=0.004). There was a higher rate of symptomatic hemorrhagic transformation in the RT group (7.8% versus 4.3%, P=0.211), however, the difference was not significant. There was no difference in 90‐day modified Rankin scale of 0 to 2 (44% versus 47.5%, P=0.543) between patients in the RT and control groups.

Conclusions: In patients with ELVO with underlying ICAS requiring RT, despite longer procedure time and a more thrombectomy passes, the 90 days favorable outcomes were comparable with patients with embolic ELVO.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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