The effect of occlusion location and technique in mechanical thrombectomy for minor stroke

Isaac Josh Abecassis, Eyad Almallouhi, Reda M. Chalhoub, Ahmed Helal, Janki R. Naidugari, Sami Al Kasab, Eric Bass, Dale Ding, Vasu Saini, Joshua D. Burks, Ilko L. Maier, Pascal Jabbour, Joon Tae Kim, Stacey Wolfe, Ansaar Rai, Marios Nikos Psychogios, Edgar Samaniego, Adam S. Arthur, Shinichi Yoshimura, Brian HowardAli Alawieh, Isabel Fragata, Hugo Cuellar, Adam Polifka, Justin Mascitelli, Joshua Osbun, Roberto Crosa, Charles Matouk, Min S. Park, Michael R. Levitt, Travis Dumont, Richard W. Williamson, Alejandro M. Spiotta, Robert M. Starke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Endovascular mechanical thrombectomy (MT) is an established treatment for large vessel occlusion strokes with a National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score of 6 or higher. Data pertaining to minor strokes, medium, or distal vessel occlusions, and most effective MT technique is limited and controversial. Methods: A multicenter retrospective study of all patients treated with MT presenting with NIHSS score of 5 or less at 29 comprehensive stroke centers. The cohort was dichotomized based on location of occlusion (proximal vs. distal) and divided based on MT technique (direct aspiration first-pass technique [ADAPT], stent retriever [SR], and primary combined [PC]). Outcomes at discharge and 90 days were compared between proximal and distal occlusion groups, and across MT techniques. Results: The cohort included 759 patients, 34% presented with distal occlusion. Distal occlusions were more likely to present with atrial fibrillation (p = 0.008) and receive IV tPA (p = 0.001). Clinical outcomes at discharge and 90 days were comparable between proximal and distal groups. Compared to SR, patients managed with ADAPT were more likely to have a modified Rankin Scale of 0–2 at discharge and at 90 days (p = 0.024 and p = 0.013). Primary combined compared to ADAPT, prior stroke, multiple passes, older age, and longer procedure time were independently associated with worse clinical outcome, while successful recanalization was positively associated with good clinical outcomes. Conclusions: Proximal and distal occlusions with low NIHSS have comparable outcomes and safety profiles. While all MT techniques have a similar safety profile, ADAPT was associated with better clinical outcomes at discharge and 90 days.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInterventional Neuroradiology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • MVO
  • Thrombectomy
  • minor stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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