Endovascular Treatment of Tandem Extracranial/Intracranial Anterior Circulation Occlusions
Preliminary Single-Center Experience
Background and Purpose—Acute ischemic stroke due to tandem occlusions of the extracranial internal carotid artery and intracranial arteries has a poor natural history. We aimed to evaluate our single-center experience with endovascular treatment of this unique stroke population.
Methods—Consecutive patients with tandem occlusions of the internal carotid artery origin and an intracranial artery (ie, internal carotid artery terminus, M1 middle cerebral artery, or M2 middle cerebral artery) were studied retrospectively. Treatment consisted of proximal revascularization with angioplasty and stenting followed by intracranial intervention. Endpoints were recanalization of both extracranial and intracranial vessels (Thrombolysis In Myocardial Ischemia ≥2), parenchymal hematoma, and good clinical outcome (modified Rankin Scale ≤2) at 3 months.
Results—We identified 77 patients with tandem occlusions. Recanalization occurred in 58 cases (75.3%) and parenchymal hematoma occurred in 8 cases (10.4%). Distal embolization occurred in 3 cases (3.9%). In 18 of 77 patients (23.4%), distal (ie, intracranial) recanalization was observed after proximal recanalization, obviating the need for distal intervention. Good clinical outcomes were achieved in 32 patients (41.6%). In multivariate analysis, Thrombolysis In Myocardial Ischemia ≥2 recanalization, baseline National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score, baseline Alberta Stroke Programme Early CT score, and age were significantly associated with good outcome.
Conclusions—Endovascular therapy of tandem occlusions using extracranial internal carotid artery revascularization as the first step is technically feasible, has a high recanalization rate, and results in an acceptable rate of good clinical outcome. Future randomized, prospective studies should clarify the role of this approach.
- Received October 16, 2010.
- Revision received January 3, 2011.
- Accepted January 6, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.