Multimodal Recanalization for Subacute Symptomatic Internal Carotid Artery Occlusion Due to Atherosclerosis: Outcomes and Notes on Hybrid Techniques

Published:March 02, 2022DOI:


      Subacute internal carotid artery occlusion (ICAO) is associated with ipsilateral recurrent stroke, and successful recanalization of ICAO can improve cerebral blood perfusion (CBP) and prevent stroke. However, the optimal treatment remains controversial.


      We conducted a retrospective analysis of patients with subacute symptomatic ICAO due to atherosclerosis treated at our center. The hybrid surgical procedures included carotid endarterectomy, Fogarty balloon catheter embolectomy, aspiration thrombectomy, and percutaneous transluminal angioplasty/stenting. Recanalization rates, CBP improvement, stroke recurrence, and restenosis/reocclusion were investigated.


      Fourteen symptomatic atherosclerotic ICAO patients (type A, 4; type C, 10; men, 11; women, 3; average age, 68.1 ± 7.9 years) in the subacute phase were treated with a multimodal recanalization technique. Symptoms included mild cerebral infarction, transient ischemic attack (TIA), and amaurosis fugax. The average onset-to-treatment time was 18.1 ± 4.8 days. The successful recanalization (thrombolysis in cerebral ischemia grade 2 or 3) rate was 100%. The ipsilateral-to-contralateral mean transit time ratio was significantly lower at the 1-year follow-up than preoperatively (1.01 ± 0.05 vs. 1.26 ± 0.09, P < 0.0001). There was one case of restenosis detected 1 year after surgery and no cases of reocclusion. During the 28.3 ± 10.0 months of follow-up, only two cases of TIA occurred. The average modified Rankin Scale score and National Institute of Health Stroke Scale score were significantly lower at the most recent follow-up than before recanalization (1.21 ± 0.89 vs. 1.86 ± 0.66, P = 0.0003; 1.36 ± 1.55 vs. 2.00 ± 1.88, P = 0.0066).


      Multimodal recanalization techniques performed in a hybrid operation theater can safely achieve high recanalization rates in atherosclerotic ICAO patients in the subacute phase, which can be beneficial for recovering CBP and preventing stroke.
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