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Christopher R. Pasarikovski, Joel Ramjist, Leodante da Costa, Sandra E. Black and Victor Yang

Studies evaluating individuals for endothelial injury after endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) have been done by means of retrieved human thrombus, MR vessel-wall imaging, and animal histopathological studies. These techniques have limitations, because MR imaging has insufficient spatial resolution to directly visualize endothelium, and histopathological examinations are performed ex vivo and are unable to provide real-time patterns of injury. The purpose of the current study was to obtain in vivo intraluminal imaging after EVT by using optical coherence tomography (OCT), examining for evidence of endothelial injury in real time.

Three consecutive patients with acute basilar artery occlusion underwent OCT imaging immediately after EVT. There were no complications and adequate images were obtained for all patients. Anatomical features of the vessel wall were discernible, including intima, media, adventitia, and internal/external elastic lamina. Basilar artery thick concentric plaque fibrosis was present, causing outward remodeling and loss of the internal/external lamina in certain regions. Evidence of significant residual thrombus was also visible, with mostly red thrombus present despite complete angiographic revascularization. The residual thrombus was not visible on CT, MR, or cerebral angiography and could certainly cause ongoing function-limiting strokes with occlusion of adjacent vital basilar perforators after EVT.

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Christopher R. Pasarikovski, Julia Keith, Leodante da Costa, Joel Ramjist, Yuta Dobashi, Sandra E. Black and Victor X. D. Yang

OBJECTIVE

Although studies have shown that some degree of iatrogenic endothelial injury occurs during endovascular thrombectomy (EVT), the clinical significance of such injury is uncertain. Furthermore, it is likely that iatrogenic effects such as endothelial denudation, intimal dissection, and tunica media edema will have varying clinical implications. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of endovascular optical coherence tomography (OCT) in quantifying vessel injury in real time after EVT, correlate vessel injury with histological findings, and perform imaging at varying time intervals after EVT to assess the impact of prolonged direct exposure of the vessel to the thrombus.

METHODS

Yorkshire swine weighing 35–40 kg were selected for use as the animal model, with a total of 9 vessels from 3 swine examined. Thrombectomy was performed using a second-generation stent retriever 1, 3, and 6 hours after thrombus deposition. The presence and degree of denudation of the endothelium, detachment and separation of the layers of the tunic media, hemorrhage within the media, dissection of the vessels, and thrombus within the lumina were assessed using OCT images acquired immediately after EVT. Bland-Altman analysis indicated that these OCT findings were correlated with postmortem histological findings.

RESULTS

OCT image acquisition was technically successful in all cases. Endothelial denudation was present in 65% ± 16%, 87% ± 8%, and 93% ± 7% of the vessel surface 1, 3, and 6 hours, respectively, after thrombus deposition and subsequent EVT. Residual intraluminal thrombus was present in vessels at all time intervals despite complete angiographic revascularization. Bland-Altman plots showed good agreement between OCT and histological analysis with respect to the degree of endothelial denudation and elevation, separation of the tunica media, and hemorrhage within the media. OCT appears to be more specific than histological analysis in detecting endothelial elevation.

CONCLUSIONS

OCT is a feasible method that can be used to assess vascular injury after EVT with histological accuracy. Varying degrees of vessel injury occur after EVT, and residual luminal thrombus can be present despite complete angiographic revascularization.

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Naif M. Alotaibi, Justin Z. Wang, Christopher R. Pasarikovski, Daipayan Guha, Fawaz Al-Mufti, Muhammad Mamdani, Gustavo Saposnik, Tom A. Schweizer and R. Loch Macdonald

Elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) is a well-recognized phenomenon in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) that has been demonstrated to lead to poor outcomes. Despite significant advances in clinical research into aSAH, there are no consensus guidelines devoted specifically to the management of elevated ICP in the setting of aSAH. To treat high ICP in aSAH, most centers extrapolate their treatment algorithms from studies and published guidelines for traumatic brain injury. Herein, the authors review the current management strategies for treating raised ICP within the aSAH population, emphasize key differences from the traumatic brain injury population, and highlight potential directions for future research in this controversial topic.