Direct carotid puncture for mechanical thrombectomy in acute ischemic stroke patients with prohibitive vascular access

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  • 1 Departments of Neurosurgery and
  • 2 Neurology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
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OBJECTIVE

While the benefit of mechanical thrombectomy (MT) for patients with anterior circulation acute ischemic stroke with large-vessel occlusion (AIS-LVO) has been clearly established, difficult vascular access may make the intervention impossible or unduly prolonged. In this study, the authors evaluated safety as well as radiographic and functional outcomes in stroke patients treated with MT via direct carotid puncture (DCP) for prohibitive vascular access.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively studied patients from their prospective AIS-LVO database who underwent attempted MT between 2015 and 2018. Patients with prohibitive vascular access were divided into two groups: 1) aborted MT (abMT) after failed transfemoral access and 2) attempted MT via DCP. Functional outcome was assessed using the modified Rankin Scale at 3 months. Associations with outcome were analyzed using ordinal logistic regression.

RESULTS

Of 352 consecutive patients with anterior circulation AIS-LVO who underwent attempted MT, 37 patients (10.5%) were deemed to have prohibitive vascular access (mean age [± SD] 82 ± 11 years, mean National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale [NIHSS] score 17 ± 5, with females accounting for 75% of the patients). There were 20 patients in the DCP group and 17 in the abMT group. The two groups were well matched for the known predictors of clinical outcome: age, sex, and admission NIHSS score. Direct carotid access was successfully obtained in 19 of 20 patients. Successful reperfusion (thrombolysis in cerebral infarction score 2b or 3) was achieved in 16 (84%) of 19 patients in the DCP group. Carotid access complications included an inability to catheterize the carotid artery in 1 patient, neck hematomas in 4 patients, non–flow-limiting common carotid artery (CCA) dissections in 2 patients, and a delayed, fatal carotid blowout in 1 patient. The neck hematomas and non–flow-limiting CCA dissections did not require any subsequent interventions and remained clinically silent. Compared with the abMT group, patients in the DCP group had smaller infarct volumes (11 vs 48 ml, p = 0.04), a greater reduction in NIHSS score (−4 vs +2.9, p = 0.03), and better functional outcome (shift analysis for 3-month modified Rankin Scale score: adjusted OR 5.2, 95% CI 1.02–24.5; p = 0.048).

CONCLUSIONS

DCP for emergency MT in patients with anterior circulation AIS-LVO and prohibitive vascular access is safe and effective and is associated with higher recanalization rates, smaller infarct volumes, and improved functional outcome compared with patients with abMT after failed transfemoral access. DCP should be considered in this patient population.

ABBREVIATIONS abMT = aborted MT; AIS-LVO = acute ischemic stroke with large-vessel occlusion; CCA = common carotid artery; DCP = direct carotid puncture; mRS = modified Rankin Scale; MT = mechanical thrombectomy; NIHSS = National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale; TICI = thrombolysis in cerebral infarction.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplemental Table 1 (PDF 200 KB)

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Contributor Notes

Correspondence Nils H. Petersen: Yale Medical School, New Haven, CT. nils.petersen@yale.edu.

INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online August 14, 2020; DOI: 10.3171/2020.5.JNS192737.

C.C.M. and N.H.P. contributed equally to this work.

Disclosures Dr. Sheth: equity interests in Alva Health. Dr. Petersen: grants from Novartis, Biogen, Bard, Hyperfine, and Astrocyte.

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