Introduction: In large artery occlusion, endovascular treatment shows better recanalization rate than intravenous tPA alone. In reperfusion therapy, excellent collaterals through the circle of Willis has better prognosis. We hypothesized that intravenous tPA only is comparable to endovascular therapy in carotid occlusion with patent ‘T’.
Methods: Between January 2010 and December 2015, in acute stroke patients who had received a reperfusion therapy, carotid artery occlusion with good collateral via the circle of Willis were selected. In all patients, non-contrast CT and CT angiography were conducted before reperfusion therapy and at 24 (+/-6) hours and/or clinical worsening. Stroke severity was assessed with NIHSS at baseline and discharge. The prognosis of reperfusion therapy was assessed by modified Rankin Scales at 3 months.
Results: In 529 patients treated by reperfusion therapy, 29 patients (5.5%, male 21, median age 76) had internal carotid artery occlusion with patent ‘T’. In tPA alone (24 patients, 82.8%), baseline NIHSS were non-significantly lower than in endovascular treatment (10 vs 15, p=0.224). Recurrent stroke, which was confirmed with follow up angiography, was developed in 8 of tPA alone. In endovascular treatment, one had a distal embolization. In 22 patients who could be assessed by MRS, 10 patients (45.5%, tPA in 9, IA in 1) had good mRS and 6 patients (27.3%) were expired.
Conclusions: Carotid occlusion with good collaterals via the circle of Willis was uncommon. tPA alone resulted in recurrent stroke with clinical worsening. Endovascular treatment may be better option in carotid occlusion with patent ‘T’.