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J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2008 Mar-Apr;17(2):55-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2007.11.003.

Vertebrobasilar revascularization rates and outcomes in the MERCI and multi-MERCI trials.

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Oregon Stroke Center, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon 97239, USA.



Mortality of 40% to 86% and good outcomes in only 13% to 21% of patients beg for treatment options for basilar occlusion. This study determined outcomes of patients with vertebrobasilar occlusion treated with mechanical embolus removal in cerebral ischemia (MERCI) retriever mechanical thrombectomy.


Patients with vertebrobasilar occlusion in the MERCI and Multi-MERCI trials received treatment up to 8 hours after symptom onset. Recanalization was determined after retriever use and adjunctive therapy. Mortality and good outcomes, modified Rankin scale score 0-3, were determined at 90 days in patients who were recanalized and not recanalized.


Recanalization occurred in 21 of 27 (78%) patients. Mortality was 44% and good outcomes were seen in 41%. Patients with recanalization tended to have better outcomes than those without.


Outcomes in patients with vertebrobasilar occlusions treated with the MERCI retriever compared favorably with natural history reports and tended to be better in those patients with recanalization.

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