Background and Purpose: Basilar artery occlusion (BAO) is an infrequent cause of stroke, accounting for 1.1% of acute ischemic stroke cases. The natural history of patients with BAO is devastating, with morbidity rates of up to 80%. No previous randomized controlled studies on the efficacy of recanalization therapy have been reported.
Methods: In the present single-center study, consecutive BAO patients were treated with mechanical thrombectomy (MT) using the stent retriever and the Penumbra system. Computed tomography perfusion was used for patient evaluation. Clinical outcomes were correlated with demographic, clinical, and radiographic findings.
Results: Between October 2011 and March 2017, MT was performed in 37 patients with BAO (mean age 70.1±10.9). Mean baseline National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale was 23±11. Recanalization rate (≧thrombolysis in cerebral infarction 2b) was 100%. Mean onset to recanalization time (OTR) was 226.3±117.8minutes. Favorable outcome at 90 days (modified Rankin scale≦2) was 60.6%. Mortality rate at 90 days was 10.8%. In an univariate analysis, IV rt-PA use, and OTR were significantly associated with favorable outcomes. In a multivariate logistic regression model, IV rt-PA use and lower NIHSS score were significantly related to favorable outcomes.
Conclusions: Multimodal endovascular therapy using the Penumbra system and/or stent retriever demonstrated high recanalization rates and improved outcomes in BAO. Both devices were feasible and effective in the treatment of BAO. An approach combining MT with IV thrombolysis provided better recanalization rates and improved clinical outcomes.