Fellows’ Journal Club

Prospectively managed stroke data bases from 2 separate centers were retrospectively studied between 2009 and 2014 for records of tandem occlusions related to internal carotid dissection. The first step in the revascularization procedure was intracranial thrombectomy. Then, cervical carotid stent placement was performed depending on the functionality of the circle of Willis and the persistence of residual cervical ICA occlusion, severe stenosis, or thrombus apposition. Efficiency, complications, and radiologic and clinical outcomes were recorded. Thirty-four patients presenting with tandem occlusion stroke secondary to internal carotid dissection were treated during the study period. The mean age was 52.5 years, the mean initial NIHSS score was 17, and the mean delay between onset and groin puncture was 3.58 hours. Recanalization of TICI 2b/3 was obtained in 21 cases (62%). Fifteen patients underwent cervical carotid stent placement. There was no recurrence of ipsilateral stroke in the nonstented subgroup. The authors conclude that endovascular treatment of internal carotid dissection-related tandem occlusion stroke using the distal-to-proximal recanalization strategy appears to be feasible, with low complication rates and considerable rates of successful recanalization.

Abstract

Figure 1 from paper
Patient presenting with right hemiplegia and aphasia (NIHSS score = 20). Initial MR imaging revealed a DWI-ASPECTS of 6 after 4.5 hours since symptom onset associated with left tandem ICA and middle cerebral artery occlusions. Initial angiogram (A) demonstrates left internal carotid occlusion related to cervical dissection. We then carefully navigate the microcatheter through the dissected ICA to the intracranial occlusion (B); then thrombectomy is performed. After contralateral femoral puncture, the right ICA run shows a functional circle of Willis and no residual left M1 occlusion (C). The posterior communicating artery is also permeable as seen on the left vertebral artery run (D). Consequently, we decided not to treat the cervical ICA dissection, and the artery is left in its initial condition (E).

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

Internal carotid dissection is a frequent cause of ischemic stroke in young adults. It may cause tandem occlusions in which cervical carotid obstruction is associated with intracranial proximal vessel occlusion. To date, no consensus has emerged concerning endovascular treatment strategy. Our aim was to evaluate our endovascular “distal-to-proximal” strategy in the treatment of this stroke subtype in the first large multicentric cohort.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Prospectively managed stroke data bases from 2 separate centers were retrospectively studied between 2009 and 2014 for records of tandem occlusions related to internal carotid dissection. Atheromatous tandem occlusions were excluded. The first step in the revascularization procedure was intracranial thrombectomy. Then, cervical carotid stent placement was performed depending on the functionality of the circle of Willis and the persistence of residual cervical ICA occlusion, severe stenosis, or thrombus apposition. Efficiency, complications, and radiologic and clinical outcomes were recorded.

RESULTS

Thirty-four patients presenting with tandem occlusion stroke secondary to internal carotid dissection were treated during the study period. The mean age was 52.5 years, the mean initial NIHSS score was 17.29 ± 6.23, and the mean delay between onset and groin puncture was 3.58 ± 1.1 hours. Recanalization TICI 2b/3 was obtained in 21 cases (62%). Fifteen patients underwent cervical carotid stent placement. There was no recurrence of ipsilateral stroke in the nonstented subgroup. Twenty-one patients (67.65%) had a favorable clinical outcome after 3 months.

CONCLUSIONS

Endovascular treatment of internal carotid dissection–related tandem occlusion stroke using the distal-to-proximal recanalization strategy appears to be feasible, with low complication rates and considerable rates of successful recanalization.

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