Intracranial mechanical thrombectomy without extracranial revascularization for a tandem occlusion with robust Circle of Willis: Case report

Mateja de Leonni Stanonik, Christopher Sy, Cameron McDougall, Lee Birnbaum, Justin Mascitelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A 59-year-old male presented with a severe left middle cerebral artery (MCA) syndrome, a National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) of 17, and was last known well 26 h prior. Computed tomography angiography (CTA) of the head demonstrated a tandem extracranial ICA and intracranial ICA/MCA occlusion. Computed tomography perfusion (CTP) demonstrated a large mismatch. The patient underwent a mechanical thrombectomy using a stent retriever resulting in a modified thrombolysis in cerebral infarction (mTICI) score of 2b. A balloon angioplasty of the extracranial carotid occlusion only resulted in temporary restoration of flow so stent placement was considered. Prior to stent placement, however, cerebral angiography revealed good collateral supply to the left MCA territory via the Circle of Willis. The procedure was thus terminated given good collateral supply from the right side and the unknown risk of dual antiplatelet therapy in a patient with an unknown stroke burden. Postoperatively, the patient immediately improved and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain revealed minimal stroke burden. The patient was discharged to acute rehab with an NIHSS of 6. At 4 weeks, the patient's NIHSS was 2 and his modified Rankin Scale (mRS) was 1. This case highlights important considerations, as well as one potential option, when treating tandem occlusions in patients with a robust Circle of Willis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100582
JournalInterdisciplinary Neurosurgery: Advanced Techniques and Case Management
StatePublished - Mar 2020



  • Circle of Willis
  • Internal carotid artery
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Mechanical thrombectomy
  • Stent
  • Tandem occlusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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