J Korean Neurosurg Soc.  2017 May;60(3):335-347. 10.3340/jkns.2016.0809.005.

Endovascular Stroke Therapy Focused on Stent Retriever Thrombectomy and Direct Clot Aspiration: Historical Review and Modern Application

  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Daegu-Gyeongbuk Cardiocerebrovascular Center, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea. jparkmd@hotmail.com
  • 2Department of Radiology, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Daegu-Gyeongbuk Cardiocerebrovascular Center, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea.


Intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator had been the only approved treatment for acute ischemic stroke since its approval in 1995. However, the restrictive time window, numerous contraindications, and its low recanalization rate were all limitations of this modality. Under those circumstances, endovascular stroke therapy went through a great evolution during the past two decades of intravenous thrombolysis. The results of the 2013 randomized trials for endovascular stroke therapy were neutral, although they were limited by insufficient imaging screening at enrollment, early-generation devices with less efficacy, and treatment delays. Huge progress was made in 2015, as there were five randomized clinical trials which all demonstrated the safety and efficacy of endovascular stroke treatment. Despite differences in detail patient enrollment criteria, all 5 trials employed key factors for good functional recovery; (1) screening with non-invasive imaging to identify the proximal occlusion and exclude a large infarct core, (2) using highly effective modern thrombectomy devices mainly with stent retriever, and (3) establishment of a fast workflow to achieve effective reperfusion. The results of those trials indicate that modern thrombectomy devices can allow for faster and more effective reperfusion, which can lead to improved clinical outcomes compared to intravenous thrombolysis alone. These advances in mechanical thrombectomy are promising in the global fight against ischemic stroke-related disability and mortality. Two current mainstreams among such mechanical thrombectomy techniques, "stent retriever thrombectomy" and "direct clot aspiration", are the topic of this review. Stent retriever thrombectomy using Solitaire and Trevo retriever will be firstly discussed. And, the commonalities and the differences between two major clot aspiration thrombectomy techniques; a direct aspiration first pass technique (ADAPT) and forced arterial suction thrombectomy (FAST), will be additionally explained. Finally, details regarding the combination of direct clot aspiration and stent retriever thrombectomy, the switching strategy and the Solumbra technique, will be described.


Acute ischemic stroke; Clot aspiration thrombectomy; Endovascular stroke therapy; Mechanical thrombectomy; Stent retriever thrombectomy

MeSH Terms

Mass Screening
Tissue Plasminogen Activator
Tissue Plasminogen Activator
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