Emergent Endovascular Management of Long-Segment and Flow-Limiting Carotid Artery Dissections in Acute Ischemic Stroke Intervention with Multiple Tandem Stents

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The authors investigated the role of emergent endovascular stenting of long-segment carotid dissections in the acute ischemic stroke setting in 15 patients. They specifically evaluated long-segment carotid dissections requiring stent reconstruction with multiple tandem stents (≥ 3 stents) and presenting with acute (<12 hours) ischemic stroke symptoms (NIHSS score, ≥ 4). Carotid stent reconstruction was successful in all patients with no residual stenosis or flow limitation. Nine patients (60%) harbored intracranial occlusions, and 6 patients (40%) required intra-arterial thrombolysis/thrombectomy, achieving 100% TICI 2b–3 reperfusion. They conclude that emergent stent reconstruction of long-segment and flow-limiting carotid dissections in acute ischemic stroke intervention is safe and effective, with favorable clinical outcomes.

Abstract

Figure 1 from paper
Illustrative case (patient 13). A, NCCT axial image demonstrates no large regional infarction or intracranial hemorrhage, but a hyperdense left MCA sign suggestive of a large vessel occlusion. Coronal (B) and axial (C) CTA head/neck images demonstrate a long-segment left ICA dissection involving the proximal cervical-to-horizontal petrous segment with an associated distal M1 segment left MCA occlusion. D, CT brain perfusion study with preserved relative cerebral blood volume, markedly elevated relative mean transit time (E), and mildly decreased relative cerebral blood flow (F), consistent with severe hemodynamic impairment and hypoperfusion-related ischemia in the left cerebral hemisphere.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

Although most cervical dissections are managed medically, emergent endovascular treatment may become necessary in the presence of intracranial large-vessel occlusions, flow-limiting and long-segment dissections with impending occlusion, and/or hypoperfusion-related ischemia at risk of infarction. We investigated the role of emergent endovascular stenting of long-segment carotid dissections in the acute ischemic stroke setting.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

We retrospectively studied long-segment carotid dissections requiring stent reconstruction with multiple tandem stents (≥3 stents) and presenting with acute (<12 hours) ischemic stroke symptoms (NIHSS score, ≥4). We analyzed patient demographics, vascular risk factors, clinical presentations, imaging/angiographic findings, technical procedures/complications, and clinical outcomes.

RESULTS

Fifteen patients (mean age, 51.5 years) with acute ischemic stroke (mean NIHSS score, 15) underwent endovascular stent reconstruction for vessel and/or ischemic tissue salvage. All carotid dissections presented with >70% flow limiting stenosis and involved the distal cervical ICA with a minimum length of 3.5 cm. Carotid stent reconstruction was successful in all patients with no residual stenosis or flow limitation. Nine patients (60%) harbored intracranial occlusions, and 6 patients (40%) required intra-arterial thrombolysis/thrombectomy, achieving 100% TICI 2b–3 reperfusion. Two procedural complications were limited to thromboembolic infarcts from in-stent thrombus and asymptomatic hemorrhagic infarct transformation (7% morbidity, 0% mortality). Angiographic and ultrasound follow-up confirmed normal carotid caliber and stent patency, with 2 cases of <20% in-stent stenosis. Early clinical improvement resulted in a mean discharge NIHSS score of 6, and 9/15 (60%) patients achieved a 90-day mRS of ≤2.

CONCLUSIONS

Emergent stent reconstruction of long-segment and flow-limiting carotid dissections in acute ischemic stroke intervention is safe and effective, with favorable clinical outcomes, allowing successful thrombectomy, vessel salvage, restoration of cerebral perfusion, and/or prevention of recurrent thromboembolic stroke.

 

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Emergent Endovascular Management of Long-Segment and Flow-Limiting Carotid Artery Dissections in Acute Ischemic Stroke Intervention with Multiple Tandem Stents
jross
Jeffrey Ross • Mayo Clinic, Phoenix

Dr. Jeffrey S. Ross is a Professor of Radiology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and practices neuroradiology at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona. His publications include over 100 peer-reviewed articles, nearly 60 non-refereed articles, 33 book chapters, and 10 books. He was an AJNR Senior Editor from 2006-2015, is a member of the editorial board for 3 other journals, and a manuscript reviewer for 10 journals. He became Editor-in-Chief of the AJNR in July 2015. He received the Gold Medal Award from the ASSR in 2013.

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