J Clin Neurol.  2014 Jan;10(1):17-23.

Outcomes of Endovascular Mechanical Thrombectomy and Intravenous Tissue Plasminogen Activator for the Treatment of Vertebrobasilar Stroke

  • 1Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA. brinjikji.waleed@mayo.edu
  • 2Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
  • 3Department of Neurosurgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.


AND PURPOSE: Aggressive treatment of posterior-circulation occlusions is important due to the high rates of morbidity and mortality associated with these infarctions. A large administrative database was evaluated to determine the outcomes of mechanical thrombectomy and intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV-tPA) for the treatment of posterior-circulation (vertebrobasilar) strokes. Outcomes were compared across age groups.
The United States Nationwide Inpatient Sample was used to evaluate the outcomes of patients treated for posterior-circulation acute ischemic stroke between 2006 and 2010. Patients who underwent endovascular mechanical thrombectomy and IV-tPA were selected. Primary outcomes were discharge status and mortality; secondary outcomes were length of stay, rate of intracranial hemorrhage, tracheostomy, and percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy/jejunostomy tube placement. Outcomes were grouped according to age (i.e., <50, 50-64, and > or =65 years). Chi-squared test and Student's t-test were used for comparisons of categorical and continuous variables, respectively.
During 2006-2010 there were 36,675 patients who had discharge International Classification of Diseases (9th edition) codes indicating posterior-circulation strokes. Of these, 631 (1.7%) underwent mechanical thrombectomy and 1554 (4.2%) underwent IV-tPA. The in-hospital mortality rate for mechanical thrombectomy patients was significantly lower for those aged <50 years than for those aged 50-64 years (30.4% versus 47.4%, p<0.01) and those aged > or =65 years (30.4% versus 43.0%, p< or =0.01). Age had no effect on the in-hospital mortality for IV-tPA patients, with an incidence of 22.7% for patients aged <50 years, compared to 25.4% for patients aged 50-64 years (p=0.46) and 23.0% for patients aged > or =65 years (p=0.92).
Patients requiring IV-tPA and/or mechanical thrombectomy for the treatment of posterior-circulation strokes suffer from high mortality rates. Increased age is associated with significantly higher mortality rates among posterior-circulation stroke patients who require mechanical thrombectomy.


stroke; brain infarction; posterior circulation; endovascular techniques; tissue-type plasminogen activator
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