Publications by authors named "Pascal Jabbour"

447 Publications

Outcomes of Rescue Endovascular Treatment of Emergent Large Vessel Occlusion in Patients With Underlying Intracranial Atherosclerosis: Insights From STAR.

J Am Heart Assoc 2021 Jun 5:e020195. Epub 2021 Jun 5.

Department of Neurosurgery Medical University of South Carolina Charleston SC.

Background Some emergent large vessel occlusions (ELVOs) are refractory to reperfusion because of underlying intracranial atherosclerosis (ICAS), often requiring rescue therapy (RT) with balloon angioplasty, stenting, or both. In this study, we investigate the safety, efficacy, and long-term outcomes of RT in the setting of mechanical thrombectomy for ICAS-related ELVO. Methods and Results We queried the databases of 10 thrombectomy-capable centers in North America and Europe included in STAR (Stroke Thrombectomy and Aneurysm Registry). Patients with ELVO who underwent ICAS-related RT were included. A matched sample was produced for variables of age, admission National Institute of Health Stroke Scale, Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score, onset to groin puncture time, occlusion site, and final recanalization. Out of 3025 patients with MT, 182 (6%) patients required RT because of underlying ICAS. Balloon angioplasty was performed on 122 patients, and 117 patients had intracranial stenting. In the matched analysis, 141 patients who received RT matched to a similar number of controls. The number of thrombectomy passes was higher (3 versus 1, <0.001), and procedural time was longer in the RT group (52 minutes versus 36 minutes, =0.004). There was a higher rate of symptomatic hemorrhagic transformation in the RT group (7.8% versus 4.3%, =0.211), however, the difference was not significant. There was no difference in 90-day modified Rankin scale of 0 to 2 (44% versus 47.5%, =0.543) between patients in the RT and control groups. Conclusions In patients with ELVO with underlying ICAS requiring RT, despite longer procedure time and a more thrombectomy passes, the 90 days favorable outcomes were comparable with patients with embolic ELVO.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.120.020195DOI Listing
June 2021

Intra-arterial chemotherapy for retinoblastoma in 341 consecutive eyes (1,292 infusions): comparative analysis of outcomes based on patient age, race, and sex.

J AAPOS 2021 May 24. Epub 2021 May 24.

Department of Neurovascular and Endovascular Surgery, Department of Neurological Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Purpose: To evaluate tumor control and globe salvage following intra-arterial chemotherapy (IAC) for retinoblastoma based on International Classification of Retinoblastoma (ICRB) and patient demographics.

Methods: The medical records of 313 patients (341 eyes) treated with IAC were reviewed retrospectively. Chemotherapy agents included melphalan, topotecan, and carboplatin. Comparative analysis was performed for tumor control and globe salvage based on ICRB and patient demographics including age (≤12 vs >12 months), race (white vs nonwhite), and sex.

Results: Of the 341 eyes treated with 1,292 consecutive infusions of IAC as primary or secondary therapy for retinoblastoma, Kaplan-Meier 5-year estimates of globe salvage was 74%. Of those treated with IAC as primary therapy (n = 160 eyes; 655 infusions), 5-year globe salvage overall was 76%: and more specifically, 100% for groups B and C, 86% for group D, and 55% for group E. Of those treated with IAC as secondary therapy (n = 207 eyes; 859 infusions), 5-year globe salvage was 71%. Comparative analysis by race and sex demonstrated no differences in outcomes, but analysis by age revealed that younger patients had a higher rate of globe salvage (77% vs 72%; P < 0.001). Complications (per catheterization) included retina ischemia (1%), choroidal ischemia (1%), neovascularization of the disk, retina, iris (NVI), glaucoma (about 1% each), and central/peripheral systemic ischemia (<1%). Younger patients showed less NVI (P = 0.028), white patients showed less retinal ischemia (P = 0.037), and no difference by sex. There were no patients with metastatic disease or death.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that IAC provides substantial tumor control for advanced and/or recurrent retinoblastoma with a high rate of globe salvage and few complications. There was little difference in outcomes per age, race, and sex.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaapos.2020.12.006DOI Listing
May 2021

Simultaneous bilateral mechanical thrombectomy in a patient with COVID-19.

Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2021 May 13;206:106677. Epub 2021 May 13.

Department of Neurological Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, USA. Electronic address:

Owing to systemic inflammation and widespread vessel endotheliopathy, SARS-CoV-2 has been shown to confer an increased risk of cryptogenic stroke, particularly in patients without any traditional risk factors. In this report, we present a case of a 67-year-old female who presented with acute stroke from bilateral anterior circulation large vessel occlusions, and was incidentally found to be COVID-positive on routine hospital admission screening. The patient had a large area of penumbra bilaterally, and the decision was made to pursue bilateral simultaneous thrombectomy, with two endovascular neurosurgeons working on each side to achieve a faster time to recanalization. Our study highlights the utility and efficacy of simultaneous bilateral thrombectomy, and this treatment paradigm should be considered for use in patients who present with multifocal large vessel occlusions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clineuro.2021.106677DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8117485PMC
May 2021

Mechanical Thrombectomy for Distal Occlusions: Efficacy, Functional and Safety Outcomes: Insight from the STAR Collaboration.

World Neurosurg 2021 May 8. Epub 2021 May 8.

Texas Stroke Institute, Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, USA.

Background: Mechanical thrombectomy (MT) is the standard of care for the treatment of proximal anterior circulation large vessel occlusions. However, little is known about its efficacy and safety in the treatment of distal intracranial occlusions.

Methods: This is a multicenter retrospective study of patients treated with MT at 15 comprehensive centers between January 2015 and December 2018. The study cohort was divided into 2 groups based on the location of occlusion (proximal vs. distal). Distal occlusion was defined as occlusion of M3 segment of the middle cerebral artery, any segment of the anterior cerebral artery, or any segment of the posterior cerebral artery. Only isolated distal occlusion was included. Good outcome was defined as 90-day modified Rankin scale score 0-2.

Results: A total of 4710 patients were included in this study, of whom 189 (4%) had MT for distal occlusions. Compared with the proximal occlusion group, distal occlusion group had a higher rate of good outcome (45% vs. 36%; P = 0.03) and a lower rate of successful reperfusion (78% vs. 84%; P = 0.04). However, the differences did not retain significance in adjusted models. Otherwise there was no difference in the rate of hemorrhagic complications, mortality, or procedure-related complications between the 2 groups. Successful reperfusion, age, and admission stroke severity emerged as predictors of good functional outcome in the distal occlusion group.

Conclusions: Thrombectomies of distal vessels achieve high rate of successful reperfusion with similar safety profile to those in more proximal locations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.04.136DOI Listing
May 2021

Discrepancies in Stroke Distribution and Dataset Origin in Machine Learning for Stroke.

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2021 Jul 30;30(7):105832. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Department of Neurosurgery, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA. Electronic address:

Background: Machine learning algorithms depend on accurate and representative datasets for training in order to become valuable clinical tools that are widely generalizable to a varied population. We aim to conduct a review of machine learning uses in stroke literature to assess the geographic distribution of datasets and patient cohorts used to train these models and compare them to stroke distribution to evaluate for disparities.

Aims: 582 studies were identified on initial searching of the PubMed database. Of these studies, 106 full texts were assessed after title and abstract screening which resulted in 489 papers excluded. Of these 106 studies, 79 were excluded due to using cohorts from outside the United States or being review articles or editorials. 27 studies were thus included in this analysis.

Summary Of Review: Of the 27 studies included, 7 (25.9%) used patient data from California, 6 (22.2%) were multicenter, 3 (11.1%) were in Massachusetts, 2 (7.4%) each in Illinois, Missouri, and New York, and 1 (3.7%) each from South Carolina, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. 1 (3.7%) study used data from Utah and Texas. These were qualitatively compared to a CDC study showing the highest distribution of stroke in Mississippi (4.3%) followed by Oklahoma (3.4%), Washington D.C. (3.4%), Louisiana (3.3%), and Alabama (3.2%) while the prevalence in California was 2.6%.

Conclusions: It is clear that a strong disconnect exists between the datasets and patient cohorts used in training machine learning algorithms in clinical research and the stroke distribution in which clinical tools using these algorithms will be implemented. In order to ensure a lack of bias and increase generalizability and accuracy in future machine learning studies, datasets using a varied patient population that reflects the unequal distribution of stroke risk factors would greatly benefit the usability of these tools and ensure accuracy on a nationwide scale.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2021.105832DOI Listing
July 2021

A Machine Learning Approach to First Pass Reperfusion in Mechanical Thrombectomy: Prediction and Feature Analysis.

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2021 Jul 19;30(7):105796. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

Department of Neurosurgery, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA. Electronic address:

Introduction: Novel machine learning (ML) methods are being investigated across medicine for their predictive capabilities while boasting increased adaptability and generalizability. In our study, we compare logistic regression with machine learning for feature importance analysis and prediction in first-pass reperfusion.

Methods: We retrospectively identified cases of ischemic stroke treated with mechanical thrombectomy (MT) at our institution from 2012-2018. Significant variables used in predictive modeling were demographic characteristics, medical history, admission NIHSS, and stroke characteristics. Outcome was binarized TICI on first pass (0-2a vs 2b-3). Shapley feature importance plots were used to identify variables that strongly affected outcomes.

Results: Accuracy for the Random Forest and SVM models were 67.1% compared to 65.8% for the logistic regression model. Brier score was lower for the Random Forest model (0.329 vs 0.342) indicating better predictive capability. Other supervised learning models performed worse than the logistic regression model, with accuracy of 56.2% for Naïve Bayes and 61.6% for XGBoost. Shapley plots for the Random Forest model showed use of aspiration, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, use of stent retriever, and time between symptom onset and catheterization as the top five predictors of first pass reperfusion.

Conclusion: Use of machine learning models, such as Random Forest, for the study of MT outcomes, is more accurate than logistic regression for our dataset, and identifies new factors that contribute to achieving first pass reperfusion. The benefits of machine learning, such as improved predictive capabilities, integration of new data, and generalizability, establish ML as the preferred model for studying outcomes in stroke.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2021.105796DOI Listing
July 2021

Experience With Ventriculoperitoneal and Lumboperitoneal Shunting for the Treatment of Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension: A Single Institution Series.

Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown) 2021 Apr 22. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Department of Neurosurgery, Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Background: CSF shunting is among the most widely utilized interventions in patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). Ventriculoperitoneal shunting (VPS) and lumboperitoneal shunting (LPS) are 2 possible treatment modalities.

Objective: To evaluate and compare complications, malfunction, infection, and revision rates associated with VPS compared to LPS.

Methods: Electronic medical records were reviewed to identify baseline and treatment characteristics for patients diagnosed with IIH treated with VPS or LPS.

Results: A total of 163 patients treated with either VPS (74.2%) or LPS (25.8%) were identified. The mean follow-up was 35 mo. Shunt revision was required in 40.9% of patients. There was a nonsignificant higher rate of revision with LPS (52.4%) than VPS (36.4%, P = .07). In multivariate analysis, increasing patient age was associated with higher odds of shunt revision (P = .04). LPS had higher odds of shunt revision, yet this association was not significant (P = .06). Shunt malfunction was the main indication for revision occurring in 32.7%, with a significantly higher rate with LPS than VPS (P = .03). In total, 15 patients had shunt infection (9.4% VPS vs 12.2% LPS P = .50). The only significant predictor of procedural infection was the increasing number of revisions (P = .02).

Conclusion: The incidence of shunt revision was 40.9%, with increasing patient age as the sole predictor of shunt revision. The incidence of shunt malfunction was significantly higher in patients undergoing LPS, while there was no significant difference in the incidence of shunt infection between the 2 modalities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ons/opab106DOI Listing
April 2021

Lessons Learned After 760 Neurointerventions via the Upper Extremity Vasculature: Pearls and Pitfalls.

Neurosurgery 2021 May;88(6):E510-E522

Department of Neurological Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Background: The radial approach has been gaining more widespread use by neurointerventionalists fueled by data from the cardiology literature showing better safety and overall reduced morbidity.

Objective: To present our institution's experience with the radial approach for neuroendovascular interventions in 614 consecutive patients who underwent a cumulative of 760 procedures.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed and identified neuroendovascular procedures performed via the upper extremity vasculature access site.

Results: Amongst 760 procedures, 34.2% (260) were therapeutic, and 65.7% (500) were nontherapeutic angiograms. Access sites were 71.5% (544) via a conventional radial artery, 27.8% (211) via a distal radial artery, 0.5% (4) via an ulnar artery, and 0.1% (1) via the brachial artery. Most of the procedures (96.9%) were performed via the right-sided (737), 2.9% (22) via the left-sided, and 0.1% (1) via a bilateral approach. Major access site complications occurred at a rate of 0.9% (7). The rate of transfemoral conversion was 4.7% (36). There was a statistically higher incidence of transfemoral conversion when repeat procedures were performed using the same access site. Also, there was no significant difference between nontherapeutic procedures performed using the right and left radial access, and conventional versus distal radial access. Procedural metrics improved after completion of 14 procedures, indicating a learning curve that should be surpassed by operators to reach optimal outcomes.

Conclusion: Radial artery catheterization is a safe and effective means of carrying out a wide range of neuroendovascular procedures associated with excellent clinical outcomes and an overall low rate of periprocedural complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyab084DOI Listing
May 2021

Prediction of hematoma expansion in spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage: Our institutional experience.

J Clin Neurosci 2021 Apr 19;86:271-275. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Department of Neurosurgery, Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience, Philadelphia, PA, United States. Electronic address:

Background: Spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (sICH) is a disease process with high morbidity and mortality. In particular, hematoma expansion (HE) is a feared complication of sICH. With 15-40% of patients experiencing HE, it has become increasingly important to predict which sICH will remain stable and which will expand.

Objective: With new treatment options being developed, it is becoming increasingly important to be able to predict which hemorrhages are at high versus low risk for expansion. The authors of this study hope to reexamine variables associated with hematoma expansion in hopes of generating newer data on risk factors for expansion.

Methods: A retrospective analysis identified 334 patients who presented with sICH. The primary outcome was HE on follow up head CT. HE was defined as a greater than 33% increase or an absolute increase in 6 mL or more in overall volume between the two sets of CT images. Analysis was performed using unpaired t-test, Chi-square, and Fisher's exact tests, as appropriate.

Results: Of the 334 patients, 247 (74.0%) did not experience an expansion of their ICH while 87 (26.0%) did. Multivariable logistic regression was performed demonstrating ICH score of 3 or greater (4.76 (95% CI 2.60-8.72, p < 0.001) , cortical location of the sICH (1.77 (95% CI 1.03-3.04, p = 0.038), and presence of a fluid level (6.46 (95% CI 2.28-18.3, p < 0.001) as significant predictors of HE.

Conclusions: Our study found that fluid-fluid levels on non-contrast CT, an ICH score 3 or greater, and lobar sICH were all more likely to expand.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2021.01.046DOI Listing
April 2021

Decline in subarachnoid haemorrhage volumes associated with the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stroke Vasc Neurol 2021 Mar 26. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Department of Radiology, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.

Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, decreased volumes of stroke admissions and mechanical thrombectomy were reported. The study's objective was to examine whether subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) hospitalisations and ruptured aneurysm coiling interventions demonstrated similar declines.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional, retrospective, observational study across 6 continents, 37 countries and 140 comprehensive stroke centres. Patients with the diagnosis of SAH, aneurysmal SAH, ruptured aneurysm coiling interventions and COVID-19 were identified by prospective aneurysm databases or by International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, codes. The 3-month cumulative volume, monthly volumes for SAH hospitalisations and ruptured aneurysm coiling procedures were compared for the period before (1 year and immediately before) and during the pandemic, defined as 1 March-31 May 2020. The prior 1-year control period (1 March-31 May 2019) was obtained to account for seasonal variation.

Findings: There was a significant decline in SAH hospitalisations, with 2044 admissions in the 3 months immediately before and 1585 admissions during the pandemic, representing a relative decline of 22.5% (95% CI -24.3% to -20.7%, p<0.0001). Embolisation of ruptured aneurysms declined with 1170-1035 procedures, respectively, representing an 11.5% (95%CI -13.5% to -9.8%, p=0.002) relative drop. Subgroup analysis was noted for aneurysmal SAH hospitalisation decline from 834 to 626 hospitalisations, a 24.9% relative decline (95% CI -28.0% to -22.1%, p<0.0001). A relative increase in ruptured aneurysm coiling was noted in low coiling volume hospitals of 41.1% (95% CI 32.3% to 50.6%, p=0.008) despite a decrease in SAH admissions in this tertile.

Interpretation: There was a relative decrease in the volume of SAH hospitalisations, aneurysmal SAH hospitalisations and ruptured aneurysm embolisations during the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings in SAH are consistent with a decrease in other emergencies, such as stroke and myocardial infarction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/svn-2020-000695DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8006491PMC
March 2021

In Reply to the Letter to the Editor Regarding "Battle-Tested Guidelines and Operational Protocols for Neurosurgical Practice in Times of a Pandemic: Lessons Learned from COVID-19".

World Neurosurg 2021 03;147:224

Department of Neurological Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.12.154DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7932875PMC
March 2021

Adenosine-induced transient circulatory arrest in transvenous embolization of cerebral arteriovenous malformations.

Neuroradiol J 2021 Mar 3:1971400921998972. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Division of Vascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery, Firoozgar Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Iran.

Due to advances in interventional techniques, the transvenous approach may present an effective treatment option for embolization of brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). Contrary to the transarterial method, the transvenous approach can only be utilized in a specific subset of patients and is not suitable as a standard procedure for all AVM lesions. While this technique can be helpful in certain patients, careful patient selection to ensure patient safety and favorable clinical outcomes is important. However, especially in high-flow AVMs, targeted deposition of embolic materials through a transvenous access can be challenging. Therefore, a temporary flow arrest may prove helpful. Transient cardiac arrest by use of adenosine has been applied in cerebrovascular surgery but is not common for endovascular embolization. Adenosine-induced arrest and systemic hypotension may be a feasible, safe method to reduce flow and help endovascular transvenous embolization of certain AVMs. Our study evaluated the efficiency and safety of adenosine-induced circulatory arrest for transvenous embolization of cerebral AVMs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1971400921998972DOI Listing
March 2021

Upper extremity transvenous access for neuroendovascular procedures: an international multicenter case series.

J Neurointerv Surg 2021 Apr 16;13(4):357-362. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Neurological Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA.

Background: Radial artery access for transarterial procedures has gained recent traction in neurointerventional due to decreased patient morbidity, technical feasibility, and improved patient satisfaction. Upper extremity transvenous access (UETV) has recently emerged as an alternative strategy for the neurointerventionalist, but data are limited. Our objective was to quantify the use of UETV access in neurointerventions and to measure failure and complication rates.

Methods: An international multicenter retrospective review of medical records for patients undergoing UETV neurointerventions or diagnostic procedures was performed. We also present our institutional protocol for obtaining UETV and review the existing literature.

Results: One hundred and thirteen patients underwent a total of 147 attempted UETV procedures at 13 centers. The most common site of entry was the right basilic vein. There were 21 repeat puncture events into the same vein following the primary diagnostic procedure for secondary interventional procedures without difficulty. There were two minor complications (1.4%) and five failures (ie, conversion to femoral vein access) (3.4%).

Conclusions: UETV is safe and technically feasible for diagnostic and neurointerventional procedures. Further studies are needed to determine the benefit over alternative venous access sites and the effect on patient satisfaction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/neurintsurg-2020-017102DOI Listing
April 2021

Is a picture-perfect thrombectomy necessary in acute ischemic stroke?

J Neurointerv Surg 2021 Feb 16. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Endovascular Neurosurgery, Médica Uruguaya, Montevideo, Montevideo, Uruguay.

Background: The benefit of complete reperfusion (modified Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction (mTICI) 3) over near-complete reperfusion (≥90%, mTICI 2c) remains unclear. The goal of this study is to compare clinical outcomes between mechanical thrombectomy (MT)-treated stroke patients with mTICI 2c versus 3.

Methods: This is a retrospective study from the Stroke Thrombectomy and Aneurysm Registry (STAR) comprising 33 centers. Adults with anterior circulation arterial vessel occlusion who underwent MT yielding mTICI 2c or mTICI 3 reperfusion were included. Patients were categorized based on reperfusion grade achieved. Primary outcome was modified Rankin Scale (mRS) 0-2 at 90 days. Secondary outcomes were mRS scores at discharge and 90 days, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score at discharge, procedure-related complications, and symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage.

Results: The unmatched mTICI 2c and mTICI 3 cohorts comprised 519 and 1923 patients, respectively. There was no difference in primary (42.4% vs 45.1%; p=0.264) or secondary outcomes between the unmatched cohorts. Reperfusion status (mTICI 2c vs 3) was also not predictive of the primary outcome in non-imputed and imputed multivariable models. The matched cohorts each comprised 191 patients. Primary (39.8% vs 47.6%; p=0.122) and secondary outcomes were also similar between the matched cohorts, except the 90-day mRS which was lower in the matched mTICI 3 cohort (p=0.049). There were increased odds of the primary outcome with mTICI 3 in patients with baseline mRS ≥2 (36% vs 7.7%; p=0.011; p=0.014) and a history of stroke (42.3% vs 15.4%; p=0.027; p=0.041).

Conclusions: Complete and near-complete reperfusion after MT appear to confer comparable outcomes in patients with acute stroke.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/neurintsurg-2020-017193DOI Listing
February 2021

Comparison of Transradial vs Transfemoral Access in Neurovascular Fellowship Training: Overcoming the Learning Curve.

Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown) 2021 Feb 11. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Department of Neurological Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Background: The transradial access (TRA) is rapidly gaining popularity for neuroendovascular procedures as there is strong evidence for its benefits compared to the traditional transfemoral access (TFA). However, the transition to TRA bears some challenges including optimization of the interventional suite set-up and workflow as well as its impact on fellowship training.

Objective: To compare the learning curves of TFA and TRA for diagnostic cerebral angiograms in neuroendovascular fellowship training.

Methods: We prospectively collected diagnostic angiogram procedural data on the performance of 2 neuroendovascular fellows with no prior endovascular experience who trained at our institution from July 2018 until June 2019. Metrics for operator proficiency were minutes of fluoroscopy time, procedure time, and volume of contrast used.

Results: A total of 293 diagnostic angiograms were included in the analysis. Of those, 57.7% were TRA and 42.3% were TFA. The median contrast dose was 60 cc, and the median radiation dose was 14 000 μGy. The overall complication rate was 1.4% consisting of 2 groin hematomas, 1 wrist hematoma, and 1 access-site infection using TFA. The crossover rate to TFA was 2.1%. Proficiency was achieved after 60 femoral and 95 radial cases based on fluoroscopy time, 52 femoral and 77 radial cases based on procedure time, and 53 femoral and 64 radial cases based on contrast volume.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrates that the use of TRA can be safely incorporated into neuroendovascular training without causing an increase in complications or significantly prolonging procedure time or contrast use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ons/opab018DOI Listing
February 2021

A comparative study of transradial versus transfemoral approach for flow diversion.

Neuroradiology 2021 Feb 9. Epub 2021 Feb 9.

Department of Neurological Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Purpose: Data in neurointerventional literature is extremely limited regarding the safety and efficacy of flow diversion using transradial access (TRA). We aim to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of intracranial aneurysm treatment with the Pipeline Embolization Device (PED) using TRA compared to transfemoral access (TFA).

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of a prospectively maintained database and identified 79 consecutive patients who underwent neuroendovascular embolization for cerebral aneurysms using the PED from April 2018 through October 2019. Patients were divided into 2 groups: TRA (32 patients) and TFA (47 patients). A comparative analysis was performed between the two groups.

Results: There was no significant difference in postoperative intracranial hemorrhage (p>.99), symptomatic ischemic stroke (p=.512), access site complications (p=.268), or other complications (p=.512). However, there was a significant increase in overall complications (14.9% vs. 0.0%, p=.038) and procedure duration (71.4 min ± 31.2 vs. 58.5 ± 20.3, p=.018) in the TFA group. There was no significant difference in complete occlusion at latest follow-up (19/25, 76.0% vs. 35/40, 87.5%; p=.311), 6-month follow-up (17/23, 73.9% vs. 33/38, 86.8%; p=.303), or 12-month follow-up (8/8, 100.0% vs. 5/6, 83.3%; p=.429). There was also no significant difference in rate of retreatment (p>.99), morbidity (p=.512), mortality (p>.99), latest follow-up (p=.985), or loss of follow-up (p=.298).

Conclusions: The feasibility and efficacy of flow diversion with the PED via TRA for the treatment of intracranial aneurysms is comparable to TFA. Widespread adoption of this approach may be facilitated by improvements in device navigation and manipulation via radial-specific engineering.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00234-021-02672-4DOI Listing
February 2021

Early experience with a novel 088 long sheath in transradial neurointerventions.

Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2021 Mar 20;202:106510. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Department of Neurological Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA USA. Electronic address:

Background: Transradial access (TRA) for neuroendovascular procedures has several clear benefits compared to transfemoral access. In this study, we report our initial experience with neuroendovascular procedures performed via transradial access using the novel Ballast 088 long sheath.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis and identified 91 consecutive patients who underwent neuroendovascular procedures via TRA using the Ballast 088 long sheath. Data collection was performed on indication for procedure, number of vessels selectively catheterized, fluoroscopy time, procedure duration, radiation exposure, failure of radial access and conversion to transfemoral access, periprocedural complications, and procedural outcomes.

Results: Amongst 91 patients, the average age was 65.5 years ± 14.2 with 45 (49.5 %) female patients. 25 (27.5 %) patients underwent aneurysm treatment, 2 (2.2 %) AVM/AVF embolization, 28 (30.8 %) intracranial or extracranial stenting, 31 (34.1 %) stroke treatment, and 5 (5.5 %) underwent diagnostic angiogram. The mean number of target vessels catheterized was 1.07 ± 0.25, the mean procedure duration (minutes) was 96.5 ± 57.2, mean fluoroscopy time (minutes) was 21.9 ± 14.2, mean contrast dose (ml) was 112.7 ± 66.7, and mean radiation exposure (Gycm2) was 54.82 ± 41.37. The success rate of target vessel catheterization was 100 %. There were no complications resulting in long term sequelae. Access complications occurred in 1 (1.1 %) patients. Transfemoral conversion was required in 3 (3.3 %) patients.

Conclusions: The Ballast 088 long sheath is safe and effective for TRA in neuroendovascular procedures with a low rate of complications and conversion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clineuro.2021.106510DOI Listing
March 2021

Woven EndoBridge device for ruptured aneurysms: perioperative results of a US multicenter experience.

J Neurointerv Surg 2021 Jan 22. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

Lyerly Neurosurgery, Baptist Neurological Institute, Jacksonville, Florida, USA

Background: The Woven EndoBridge (WEB) device is approved in the USA for treatment of unruptured wide-neck bifurcation aneurysms. However, the safety and effectiveness of the WEB device in the treatment of ruptured intracranial aneurysms is not clear. We aim to evaluate the perioperative safety and effectiveness of the WEB device in patients with ruptured intracranial aneurysms.

Methods: This retrospective study, conducted at eight centers in the USA, included patients with ruptured intracranial aneurysms treated with the WEB device in the setting of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Safety outcomes included intraoperative complications such as vessel perforation, thromboembolic events, and postoperative hemorrhagic or thromboembolic complications based on radiologic imaging. The primary effectiveness outcome was adequate (complete and neck remnant) aneurysm occlusion, according to the Raymond-Roy classification.

Results: A total of 91 patients with 94 ruptured intracranial aneurysms were included (mean age 57.7±15.2 years; 68.1% women; 82.9% wide-necked). Aneurysms were located in the anterior communicating artery (42/94, 44.6%), middle cerebral artery (16/94, 17%), and basilar artery (15/94, 16%). Adequate occlusion was achieved in 48.8% (41/84) and 80.0% (40/50) at discharge and last follow-up (mean of 3.4 months), respectively. At discharge, procedural-related morbidity was 3.3% (3/91) and there was no procedure-related mortality. No re-rupture or delayed aneurysm rupture was observed.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates the perioperative safety and effectiveness of the WEB device for the treatment of patients with ruptured intracranial aneurysms in the setting of SAH, with low periprocedural morbidity and mortality. Long-term follow-up is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/neurintsurg-2020-017105DOI Listing
January 2021

Global impact of COVID-19 on stroke care.

Int J Stroke 2021 Mar 29:1747493021991652. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Neurology, Grady Memorial Hospital, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic led to profound changes in the organization of health care systems worldwide.

Aims: We sought to measure the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the volumes for mechanical thrombectomy, stroke, and intracranial hemorrhage hospitalizations over a three-month period at the height of the pandemic (1 March-31 May 2020) compared with two control three-month periods (immediately preceding and one year prior).

Methods: Retrospective, observational, international study, across 6 continents, 40 countries, and 187 comprehensive stroke centers. The diagnoses were identified by their ICD-10 codes and/or classifications in stroke databases at participating centers.

Results: The hospitalization volumes for any stroke, intracranial hemorrhage, and mechanical thrombectomy were 26,699, 4002, and 5191 in the three months immediately before versus 21,576, 3540, and 4533 during the first three pandemic months, representing declines of 19.2% (95%CI, -19.7 to -18.7), 11.5% (95%CI, -12.6 to -10.6), and 12.7% (95%CI, -13.6 to -11.8), respectively. The decreases were noted across centers with high, mid, and low COVID-19 hospitalization burden, and also across high, mid, and low volume stroke/mechanical thrombectomy centers. High-volume COVID-19 centers (-20.5%) had greater declines in mechanical thrombectomy volumes than mid- (-10.1%) and low-volume (-8.7%) centers (p < 0.0001). There was a 1.5% stroke rate across 54,366 COVID-19 hospitalizations. SARS-CoV-2 infection was noted in 3.9% (784/20,250) of all stroke admissions.

Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a global decline in the volume of overall stroke hospitalizations, mechanical thrombectomy procedures, and intracranial hemorrhage admission volumes. Despite geographic variations, these volume reductions were observed regardless of COVID-19 hospitalization burden and pre-pandemic stroke/mechanical thrombectomy volumes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1747493021991652DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8010375PMC
March 2021

Intraoperative vascular complications during 2278 cerebral endovascular procedures with multimodality IONM: relationship between signal change, complication, intervention and postoperative outcome.

J Neurointerv Surg 2021 Apr 22;13(4):378-383. Epub 2020 Dec 22.

Medical Department, Specialty Care, Brentwood, Tennessee, USA.

Background: Intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) is often used during cerebral endovascular procedures.

Objective: To investigate the relationship between intraoperative vascular complications and IONM signal changes, and the impact of interventions on signal resolution and postoperative outcomes.

Methods: A series of 2278 cerebral endovascular procedures conducted under general anesthesia and using electroencephalography and somatosensory evoked potential monitoring were retrospectively reviewed. A subset of 763 procedures also included motor evoked potentials (MEPs). IONM alerts were categorized as either a partial attenuation or complete loss of signal. Vascular complications were subcategorized as due to rupture, emboli, instrumentation, or vasospasm. Odds ratios (ORs) for new postoperative motor deficits were calculated and diagnostic accuracy was measured using sensitivity, specificity, and likelihood ratios.

Results: The overall incidence of new postoperative motor deficit was 1.2%; 20.4% in cases with an IONM alert and 0.09% in cases without an alert. Relative to procedures with no alerts, odds of a new deficit increased if there was partial signal attenuation (OR=210.9, 95% CI 44.3 to 1003.5, p<0.0001) and increased further with complete loss of signal (OR=1437.3, 95% CI 297.3 to 6948.2, p<0.0001). Relative to procedures with unresolved alerts, odds of a new deficit decreased if the alert was fully resolved (OR=0.039, 95% CI 0.005 to 0.306, p<0.002). Procedures using MEPs had slightly higher sensitivity (92.3% vs 85.7%) but slightly lower specificity (96.7% vs 98.2%).

Conclusions: An IONM alert associated with an arterial complication is associated with a dramatic increase in odds of a new postoperative deficit; however, if there is resolution of the alert prior to closure, odds of a new deficit decrease significantly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/neurintsurg-2020-016604DOI Listing
April 2021

Feasibility and initial experience of left radial approach for diagnostic neuroangiography.

Sci Rep 2021 Jan 13;11(1):1089. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Department of Neurosurgery, Chief Division of Neurovascular Surgery and Endovascular Neurosurgery, Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience, 901 Walnut street 3rd Floor, Philadelphia, PA, 19107, USA.

Neuroangiography has seen a recent shift from transfemoral to transradial access. In transradial neuroangiography, the right dominant hand is the main access used. However, the left side may be used specifically for left posterior circulation pathologies and when right access cannot be used. This study describes our initial experience with left radial access for diagnostic neuroangiography and assesses the feasibility and safety of this technique. We performed a retrospective review of a prospective database of consecutive patients between April 2018 and January 2020, and identified 20 patients whom a left radial access was used for neurovascular procedures. Left transradial neuroangiography was successful in all 20 patients and provided the sought diagnostic information; no patient required conversion to right radial or femoral access. Pathology consisted of anterior circulation aneurysms in 17 patients (85%), brain tumor in 1 patient (5%), and intracranial atherosclerosis disease involving the middle cerebral artery in 2 patients (10%). The left radial artery was accessed at the anatomic snuffbox in 18 patients (90%) and the wrist in 2 patients (10%). A single vessel was accessed in 7 (35%), two vessels in 8 (40%), three vessels in 4 (20%), and four vessels in 1 (5%). Catheterization was successful in 71% of the cases for the right internal carotid artery and in only 7.7% for the left internal carotid artery. There were no instances of radial artery spasm, radial artery occlusion, or procedural complications. Our initial experience found the left transradial access to be a potentially feasible approach for diagnostic neuroangiography even beyond the left vertebral artery. The approach is strongly favored by patients but has significant limitations compared with the right-sided approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-80064-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7806974PMC
January 2021

Adoption of the Transradial Approach for Neurointerventions: A National Survey of Current Practitioners.

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2021 Mar 6;30(3):105589. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Department of Neurosurgery, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, United States. Electronic address:

Objectives: The transradial approach (TRA) is technically feasible for both diagnostic and therapeutic neurointerventions. It improves patient comfort and is not associated with increased procedural complications when compared to the transfemoral approach (TFA). To date, no studies have looked at barriers to adoption of TRA in the neurointerventionalist community. This study aims to obtain neurointerventionalist perspectives on their adoption of TRA.

Materials And Methods: Online survey distributed to neurointerventionalists.

Results: A total of 55 neurointerventionalists, 52 of whom utilized TRA, responded to our survey. Overall, participants were not concerned about TRA's technical feasibility for diagnostic or therapeutic neurointerventions or about procedural complications. Most of our cohort adopted TRA due to its increased patient comfort and to reduce access site complications. In-institution interventionalists were strongly perceived to be the most effective method of teaching TRA when compared to other methods. Catheters and equipment issues were reported by about 30% of our cohort as a barrier to TRA adoption.

Conclusions: The neurointerventionalist community largely perceives TRA to be technically feasible and was not concerned about its procedural complications. In-person institutionalists are strongly perceived to be the most effective method of teaching the approach. A significant barrier to adoption seems to be related to catheters and equipment issues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2020.105589DOI Listing
March 2021

Alarming downtrend in mechanical thrombectomy rates in African American patients during the COVID-19 pandemic-Insights from STAR.

J Neurointerv Surg 2021 Apr 6;13(4):304-307. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Neurosurgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.

Background: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has affected stroke care globally. In this study, we aim to evaluate the impact of the current pandemic on racial disparities among stroke patients receiving mechanical thrombectomy (MT).

Methods: We used the prospectively collected data in the Stroke Thrombectomy and Aneurysm Registry from 12 thrombectomy-capable stroke centers in the US and Europe. We included acute stroke patients who underwent MT between January 2017 and May 2020. We compared baseline features, vascular risk factors, location of occlusion, procedural metrics, complications, and discharge outcomes between patients presenting before (before February 2020) and those who presented during the pandemic (February to May 2020).

Results: We identified 2083 stroke patients: of those 235 (11.3%) underwent MT during the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared with pre-pandemic, stroke patients who received MT during the pandemic had longer procedure duration (44 vs 38 min, P=0.006), longer length of hospitalization (6 vs 4 days, P<0.001), and higher in-hospital mortality (18.7% vs 11%, P<0.001). Importantly, there was a lower number of African American patients undergoing MT during the COVID-19 pandemic (609 (32.9%) vs 56 (23.8%); P=0.004).

Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the care process for stroke patients receiving MT globally. There is a significant decline in the number of African American patients receiving MT, which mandates further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/neurintsurg-2020-016946DOI Listing
April 2021

Monocular visual loss as the presenting symptom of COVID-19 infection.

Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2021 02 15;201:106440. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Oculoplastic and Orbital Surgery Service, Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, United States. Electronic address:

Background And Importance: Additional time is needed to determine the exact impact of COVID-19 on acute cerebrovascular disease incidence, but recently published data has correlated COVID-19 to large vessel occlusion strokes.

Clinical Presentation: We report the first case of central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) as the initial manifestation of COVID-19 infection. Subsequent neuroimaging revealed a large thrombus extending into the internal carotid artery.

Conclusion: This case illustrates the need to suspect COVID-19 infection in patients presenting with retinal arterial occlusion, including individuals who are asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic for COVID-19 infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clineuro.2020.106440DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7831816PMC
February 2021

Differential effect of mechanical thrombectomy and intravenous thrombolysis in atrial fibrillation associated stroke.

J Neurointerv Surg 2020 Dec 14. Epub 2020 Dec 14.

Department of Neurosurgery and Radiology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) associated ischemic stroke has worse functional outcomes, less effective recanalization, and increased rates of hemorrhagic complications after intravenous thrombolysis (IVT). Limited data exist about the effect of AF on procedural and clinical outcomes after mechanical thrombectomy (MT).

Objective: To determine whether recanalization efficacy, procedural speed, and clinical outcomes differ in AF associated stroke treated with MT.

Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of the Stroke Thrombectomy and Aneurysm Registry (STAR) from January 2015 to December 2018 and identified 4169 patients who underwent MT for an anterior circulation stroke, 1517 (36.4 %) of whom had comorbid AF. Prospectively defined baseline characteristics, procedural outcomes, and clinical outcomes were reported and compared.

Results: AF predicted faster procedural times, fewer passes, and higher rates of first pass success on multivariate analysis (p<0.01). AF had no effect on intracranial hemorrhage (aOR 0.69, 95% CI 0.43 to 1.12) or 90-day functional outcomes (aOR 1.17, 95% CI 0.91 to 1.50) after MT, although patients with AF were less likely to receive IVT (46% vs 54%, p<0.0001).

Conclusions: In patients treated with MT, comorbid AF is associated with faster procedural time, fewer passes, and increased rates of first pass success without increased risk of intracranial hemorrhage or worse functional outcomes. These results are in contrast to the increased hemorrhage rates and worse functional outcomes observed in AF associated stroke treated with supportive care and or IVT. These data suggest that MT negates the AF penalty in ischemic stroke.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/neurintsurg-2020-016720DOI Listing
December 2020

Battle-Tested Guidelines and Operational Protocols for Neurosurgical Practice in Times of a Pandemic: Lessons Learned from COVID-19.

World Neurosurg 2021 02 23;146:20-25. Epub 2020 Oct 23.

Department of Neurological Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Electronic address:

The COVID-19 outbreak has led to fundamental disruptions of health care and its delivery with sweeping implications for patients and physicians of all specialties, including neurosurgery. In an effort to conserve hospital resources, neurosurgical procedures were classified into tiers to determine which procedures have to be performed in a timely fashion and which ones can be temporarily suspended to aid in the hospital's reallocation of resources when equipment is scarce. These guidelines were created quickly based on little existing evidence, and thus were initially variable and required refinement. As the early wave can now be assessed in retrospect, the authors describe the lessons learned and the protocols established based on published global evidence to continue to practice neurosurgery sensibly and minimize disruptions. These operational protocols can be applied in a surge of COVID-19 or another airborne pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.10.095DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7583617PMC
February 2021

Low diagnostic yield in follow-up MR imaging in patients with spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage with a negative initial MRI.

Neuroradiology 2020 Nov 23. Epub 2020 Nov 23.

Department of Neurosurgery, Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Purpose: Follow-up MRI/MRA is historically obtained as outpatient when patients with a spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) have an initial MRI/MRA that is negative for an underlying structural lesion. However, the utility of repeating MR imaging in a delayed fashion remains uncertain.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 396 patients with spontaneous ICH admitted at our institution between 2015 and 2017 and selected those whose initial MRI/MRA was negative for an underlying structural lesion and those who underwent follow-up MR imaging in a delayed fashion.

Results: A total of 113 patients met the study criteria. The average age of those with negative follow-up MRI/MRA was 65.0 ± 12.6 (IQR: 55.0-74.0) years old. None of the 113 patients with a negative inpatient MRI/MRA had an underlying structural lesion on follow-up MRI/MRA (0%, 95% CI 0.0-0.032, p < 0.001). The mean time of the follow-up imaging from the initial study was 105.7 days (median: 62 days; IQR: 42.5-100.5). Of the 113, 83 (73.5%) underwent follow-up MRI with and without gadolinium, while 30 (26.5%) patients did not receive gadolinium.

Conclusion: Delayed follow-up MRI in patients with a negative initial MRI/MRA for workup of spontaneous ICH was not diagnostic in any of the patients included in the study. Our study suggests that a routine follow-up MRI for this patient population is not necessary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00234-020-02570-1DOI Listing
November 2020

Carotid cutdown for mechanical thrombectomy in the setting of intravenous tissue plasminogen activator: A technical report.

J Clin Neurosci 2020 Nov 20;81:302-305. Epub 2020 Oct 20.

Department of Neurological Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, United States. Electronic address:

Acute ischemic stroke (AIS) is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the world. Patients are usually treated with endovascular methods and access is often gained trans-femoral or trans-radial. In patients with difficult anatomy, in rare cases the approach must be done trans-cervical. Our case illustrates a patient who received IVTPA prior to attempted endovascular treatment, leading to a direct carotid cutdown for mechanical thrombectomy. Our patient presented with a left M1 occlusion and had received intravenous thrombolytic at the presentation of his symptoms. Due to unfavorable anatomy and tortuous aortic arch, conventional access could not be obtained. In order to achieve reperfusion while maintaining hemostasis, a decision was made to perform an open carotid cutdown to catherize the left internal carotid artery to successfully retrieve the thrombus. This resulted in a TICI2B revascularization. This is the first reported case of direct carotid access in the setting of acute ischemic stroke with IVTPA. Open technique allowed us to maintain hemostasis while bypassing the tortuous arch and achieving reperfusion and give the patient the best chance for a functional recovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2020.10.003DOI Listing
November 2020