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AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2006 Nov-Dec;27(10):2048-52.

Endovascular mechanical clot retrieval in a broad ischemic stroke cohort.

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  • 1University of California at Los Angeles Stroke Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA. dkim@mednet.ucla.edu



Our aim was to describe an expanded experience with endovascular mechanical embolectomy in a broad group of patients, including those not meeting entry criteria for the MERCI multicenter trials.


We performed an analysis of all patients with ischemic stroke treated with the Merci Clot Retrieval Device at a single academic center outside of the Mechanical Embolus Removal in Cerebral Ischemia (MERCI) trials.


Twenty-four patients were treated with the device. Nine were MERCI trial ineligible: 4 received intravenous (IV) tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), 1 received IV tPA and was younger than 18 years of age, and 4 had time-to-treatment of longer than 8 hours. Mean age was 64 years (range, 14-89 years; 42% women). Median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score was 21 (range, 11-30). Median symptoms-to-procedure-start time was 303 minutes (range, 85-2385 minutes). Recanalization (Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction, 2-3) was achieved in 15/24 (63%). In device-only patients, recanalization occurred in 10/16. In patients who failed IV tPA undergoing rescue embolectomy, recanalization was achieved in 4/5. Three patients unresponsive to device therapy received rescue intra-arterial tPA/abciximab; recanalization was achieved in 2/3. Recanalization was achieved in 3/4 patients in whom treatment was started longer than 8 hours after symptom onset. Asymptomatic hemorrhage occurred in 38%; symptomatic hemorrhage, in 8%. Three device fractures occurred; none worsened clinical outcome. In-hospital mortality was 17%; 90-day mortality, 29%. Good 90-day functional outcome (modified Rankin Scale, <or=2) was achieved by 25% (6/24).


Endovascular mechanical embolectomy is an effective means of achieving revascularization in patients with acute ischemic stroke, including patients with late treatment start and intravenous tPA failure. Device-based therapy achieved recanalization in nearly two thirds of patients and good clinical outcomes in one fourth, with symptomatic hemorrhage in less than one tenth.

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