Intra-arterial versus intravenous abciximab therapy for thromboembolic complications of neuroendovascular procedures: case review and meta-analysis

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Abciximab is used to treat thromboembolic complications of neuroendovascular procedures, but outcomes of treatment are not well defined.


To examine the angiographic and clinical outcomes based on route of abciximab administration and degree of vessel recanalization.

Materials and methods

A prospectively maintained database of neuroendovascular procedures performed between January 2004 and May 2015 was retrospectively reviewed to identify cases with thromboembolic complications treated with abciximab. In these cases, route of administration, degree of vessel recanalization, and presence or absence of infarction were determined. A meta-analysis of similar cases in the literature was also performed.


Abciximab was administered in 0.24% (47 of 19 566) of procedures to treat thromboemboli in 59 vessels. Angiographic improvement was seen in 94% after IA therapy and 79% after IV therapy (p=0.133). In our meta-analysis of 391 treated patients, angiographic improvement was greater after IA (91.7%) than IV (77.4%) treatment (p<0.001). Postprocedural infarction occurred more frequently with distal lesions (42%) than local lesions (12%) (p=0.014), and occlusive lesions (36%) than non-occlusive lesions (4.8%) (p=0.010). Infarction was significantly less common with complete angiographic resolution (0%) than with partial or no improvement (54%) (p<0.001). Symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage occurred in 2.1%.


Abciximab produces a high rate of angiographic improvement and a low incidence of postprocedural infarct in neuroendovascular procedures complicated by thromboemboli. IA abciximab produces greater angiographic improvement than IV treatment. Postprocedural infarction is less common in patients with complete angiographic response than in those with partial or no response.

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