Proximal flow control achieved with a balloon guide catheter (BGC) during endovascular treatment of acute ischemic stroke is reviewed in this article. In clinical practice, BGCs offer a multi-faceted approach for clot retrieval by creating proximal flow arrest, reducing embolic burden, and shortening procedure time. Evaluation of frontline thrombectomy procedures with BGCs revealed advantages of combined use over the conventional guide catheter (CGC), notably in the significant reduction of distal emboli to both the affected and previously unaffected territories. Recently, new measures of early and complete reperfusion at first thrombectomy pass have been identified as independent predictors of improved outcomes, which were consistently demonstrated with use of BGC as a safe and effective option to minimize number of passes during intervention. Prior randomized controlled trials reported the positive correlation between BGC-treated patients and a lower risk of mortality as well as shortened procedure time. While BGC use is more common in stent retriever-mediated mechanical thrombectomy, preliminary data has shown the potential benefit of device application during contact aspiration thrombectomy to achieve successful recanalization. However, the question of which major endovascular strategy reigns superior as a frontline remains to be answered. Along with clinical case assessments, BGC performance during in-vitro simulation was analyzed to further understand mechanisms for optimization of thrombectomy technique.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology