Mechanical thrombectomy for basilar artery thrombosis: a comparison of outcomes with anterior circulation occlusions

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Abstract

Background and purpose

The benefits of mechanical thrombectomy (MT) in basilar artery occlusions (BAO) have not been explored in recent clinical trials. We compared outcomes and procedural complications of MT in BAO with anterior circulation occlusions.

Methods

Data from the Madrid Stroke Network multicenter prospective registry were analyzed, including baseline characteristics, procedure times, procedural complications, symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (SICH), modified Rankin Scale (mRS), and mortality at 3 months.

Results

Of 479 patients treated with MT, 52 (11%) had BAO. The onset to reperfusion time lapse was longer in patients with BAO (median (IQR) 385 min (320–540) vs 315 min (240–415), p<0.001), as was the duration of the procedures (100 min (40–130) vs 60 min (39–90), p=0.006). Moreover, the recanalization rate was lower (75% vs 84%, p=0.01). A trend toward more procedural complications was observed in patients with BAO (32% vs 21%, p=0.075). The frequency of SICH was 2% vs 5% (p=0.25). At 3 months, patients with BAO had a lower rate of independence (mRS 0–2) (40% vs 58%, p=0.016) and higher mortality (33% vs 12%, p<0.001). The rate of futile recanalization was 50% in BAO versus 35% in anterior circulation occlusions (p=0.05). Age and duration of the procedure were significant predictors of futile recanalization in BAO.

Conclusions

MT is more laborious and shows more procedural complications in BAO than in anterior circulation strokes. The likelihood of futile recanalization is higher in BAO and is associated with greater age and longer procedure duration. A refinement of endovascular procedures for BAO might help optimize the results.

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