Quantification of clot spatial heterogeneity and its impact on thrombectomy

Yang Liu, Waleed Brinjikji, Mehdi Abbasi, Daying Dai, Jorge L. Arturo Larco, Sarosh Irfan Madhani, Adnan H. Shahid, Oana Madalina Mereuta, Raul G. Nogueira, Peter Kvamme, Kennith F. Layton, Josser E. Delgado Almandoz, Ricardo A. Hanel, Vitor Mendes Pereira, Mohammed A. Almekhlafi, Albert J. Yoo, Babak S. Jahromi, Matthew J. Gounis, Biraj Patel, Seán FitzgeraldKaren Doyle, Diogo C. Haussen, Alhamza R. Al-Bayati, Mahmoud Mohammaden, Leonardo Pisani, Gabriel Martins Rodrigues, Ike C. Thacker, Yasha Kayan, Alexander Copelan, Amin Aghaebrahim, Eric Sauvageau, Andrew M. Demchuk, Parita Bhuva, Jazba Soomro, Pouya Nazari, Donald Robert Cantrell, Ajit S. Puri, John Entwistle, Ramanathan Kadirvel, Harry J. Cloft, David F. Kallmes, Luis Savastano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Compositional and structural features of retrieved clots by thrombectomy can provide insight into improving the endovascular treatment of ischemic stroke. Currently, histological analysis is limited to quantification of compositions and qualitative description of the clot structure. We hypothesized that heterogeneous clots would be prone to poorer recanalization rates and performed a quantitative analysis to test this hypothesis. METHODS: We collected and did histology on clots retrieved by mechanical thrombectomy from 157 stroke cases (107 achieved first-pass effect (FPE) and 50 did not). Using an in-house algorithm, the scanned images were divided into grids (with sizes of 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, and 0.6 mm) and the extent of non-uniformity of RBC distribution was computed using the proposed spatial heterogeneity index (SHI). Finally, we validated the clinical significance of clot heterogeneity using the Mann-Whitney test and an artificial neural network (ANN) model. RESULTS: For cases with FPE, SHI values were smaller (0.033 vs 0.039 for grid size of 0.4 mm, P=0.028) compared with those without. In comparison, the clot composition was not statistically different between those two groups. From the ANN model, clot heterogeneity was the most important factor, followed by fibrin content, thrombectomy techniques, red blood cell content, clot area, platelet content, etiology, and admission of intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV-tPA). No statistical difference of clot heterogeneity was found for different etiologies, thrombectomy techniques, and IV-tPA administration. CONCLUSIONS: Clot heterogeneity can affect the clot response to thrombectomy devices and is associated with lower FPE. SHI can be a useful metric to quantify clot heterogeneity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1248-1252
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of neurointerventional surgery
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022


  • intervention
  • stroke
  • technology
  • thrombectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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