Evolution of thrombectomy approaches and devices for acute stroke: a technical review: Review

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While intravenous administration of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) remains the only FDA-approved treatment modality for acute ischemic stroke, many patients do not meet the criteria for intravenous tPA and are offered intra-arterial therapy. Rapid advances in devices and approaches have marked the evolution of thrombectomy over the past decade from rudimentary mechanical disruption, followed by intra-arterial thrombolytic infusions to increasingly effective thrombectomy devices. We review the critical advancements in thrombectomy technique that have evolved and the key anatomic and technical challenges they address, from first-generation Merci retrieval systems to second-generation Penumbra aspiration systems and third-generation stent retrievers, as well as nuances of their uses to maximize their effectiveness. We also highlight more recent advances that offer patients hope for more expedient vessel recanalization.

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