Background: Acute stroke because of basilar artery occlusion (BAO) represents 1% of all ischemic strokes. However, recanalization rates and treatment outcome for the different pathologic subtypes of BAO stroke are not fully understood. Purpose: To compare the recanalization rate and clinical outcomes of mechanical thrombectomy in different subtypes of BAO. Materials and Methods: Eighty-two patients (46 men and 36 women; mean age, 73 years; age range, 20-90 years; mean age in men, 70 years [age range, 20-90 years]; mean age in women, 75 years [age range; 61-90 years]) with acute BAO who underwent mechanical thrombectomy between March 2010 and December 2017 were retrospectively analyzed. Patients were classified into three groups: embolism without vertebral artery (VA) steno-occlusion (group 1), embolism from tandem VA steno-occlusion (group 2), and in situ atherosclerotic thrombosis (group 3). Clinical and angiographic characteristics, recanalization rate, procedure times, and clinical outcomes were compared between groups by using the Kruskal-Wallis, Pearson χ2, and Fisher exact tests. Results: The incidence of BAO according to stroke mechanism were as follows: group 1, n = 34 (41%); group 2, n = 28 (34%), group 3, n = 20 (24%). Overall, successful recanalization (modified Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction grade 2b or 3) was achieved in 78% (64 of 82) and favorable outcome (90-day modified Rankin Scale score, 0-2) in 37% (30 of 82) of the patients. The procedure time was shorter in group 1 than in group 2 (49 vs 66 minutes, respectively; P = .01). Group 1 showed a higher successful recanalization rate than group 3 (29 of 34 [85%] vs 11 of 20 [55%], respectively; P = .01). Good clinical outcome rate was higher in group 1 than in group 3 (18 of 34 [53%] vs four of 20 [20%], respectively; P = .02). Conclusion: The outcome of mechanical thrombectomy for basilar artery occlusion differs according to the pathologic mechanism of stroke; the best outcomes and recanalization rate occurred in patients with embolism without vertebral artery steno-occlusion.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
D.J.K. supported by the Research Institute of Radiological Science, Yonsei University College of Medicine (grant 4-2017-0877). Conflicts of interest are listed at the end of this article. See also the editorial by Hetts in this issue.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging