First-line thrombectomy strategy for carotid terminus occlusions: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Cem Bilgin, Hassan Kobeissi, Sherief Ghozy, Marwa A. Mohammed, Ramanathan Kadirvel, David F. Kallmes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Little research has focused on the performance of mechanical thrombectomy (MT) in carotid terminus occlusions (CTOs). Therefore, the best first-line thrombectomy strategy for CTOs remains unclear. Purpose: To compare the safety and efficacy outcomes of three first-line thrombectomy techniques in CTOs. Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted in Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid Embase, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane Central Register of Clinical Trials databases. Studies providing safety and efficacy outcomes for endovascular treatment of CTOs were included. Data regarding successful recanalization, functional independence, symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (sICH), and first pass efficacy (FPE) were extracted from the included studies. A random-effects model was used to calculate prevalence rates and their corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI), and subgroup analyses were performed to assess the impact of the initial MT technique on safety and efficacy outcomes. Results: Six studies with 524 patients were included. The overall successful recanalization rate was 85.84% (95% CI = 77.96–94.52), and subgroup analysis did not show a significant difference among the three first-line MT techniques. Overall rates of functional independence and FPE were 39.73% (95% CI = 32.95–47.89) and 32.09% (95% CI = 22.93–44.92), respectively. The combined stent retriever (SR) and aspiration (ASP) technique achieved significantly higher first-pass efficacy rates compared to SR or ASP alone. The overall sICH rate was 9.89% (95% CI = 4.88–20.07), and subgroup analysis did not demonstrate a significant difference across groups. The sICH rates of SR, ASP, and SR + ASP were 8.49% (95% CI = 1.76–40.93), 6.8% (95% CI = 4.59–10.09), and 7.12% (95% CI = 0.27–100), respectively. Conclusions: Our results support that MT is highly effective for CTOs with functional independence rates of 39%. Additionally, in our meta-analysis, the SR + ASP technique was associated significantly greater rates of FPE compared to SR or ASP alone, without an increase in sICH rates. Prospective, large-scale studies are necessary to determine the optimal first-line MT technique in the endovascular treatment of CTOs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100208
JournalWorld Neurosurgery: X
StatePublished - Jul 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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