ObjectivesDuring mechanical recanalization of large vessel occlusions (LVO), the use of proximal flow arrest with balloon guide catheters (BGC) was shown to be associated with better angiographic and even clinical outcome. The aim of the study was to analyze the impact of BGC use on microstructural alterations in the salvaged penumbra.
MethodsAll patients who underwent mechanical recanalization of LVO of the anterior circulation were reviewed within a prospective stroke registry of a single comprehensive stroke center. Fifty-two patients received an admission CT perfusion together with post-interventional diffusion tensor imaging. Technical details such as BGC usage were correlated with microstructural integrity changes of the salvaged gray matter through the mean diffusivity (MD) index. Moderation analysis was performed to test the interaction of BGC on the correlation between angiographic and clinical outcomes.
ResultsFor all patients with complete reperfusion, microstructural integrity changes with lowered MD index were found within the salvaged penumbra for cases of non-BGC usage (mean - 0.02) compared to cases with BGC usage (0.01, p = 0.04). The importance of complete reperfusion for good clinical outcome is predominantly based on patients treated with BGC (effect 2.78, p = 0.01 vs. for non-BGC: 0.3, p = 0.71).
ConclusionsThe lowered MD index early after mechanical recanalization without BGC usage can be interpreted as microstructural ischemic damage of the salvaged penumbra. It was shown that achieving complete reperfusion in a setting of BGC usage with proximal flow arrest minimizes penumbral damage and improves long-term outcomes.
Key points• Microstructural ischemic damage can be reduced by using proximal flow arrest during endovascular treatment with balloon guide catheter. • Complete reperfusion in a setting of balloon guide catheter minimizes penumbral damage and improves long-term outcome.