Article ID: 54221
Aim: There is no randomized controlled trial to compare the effectiveness and safety of mechanical thrombectomy (MT) to intravenous thrombolysis in patients with posterior circulation occlusion (PCO). Hence, we firstly performed a meta-analysis to investigate the outcomes of MT in PCO and then compared these outcomes to anterior circulation occlusion (ACO) to provide fundamental data to further studies.
Methods: We searched the PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library from dates of inception to June 2019 for relevant studies. Outcomes including functional independence at 90 days, successful recanalization, mortality, symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (sICH), and futile recanalization were extracted.
Results: Seven studies involving 474 patients with PCO thrombectomy were analyzed. There was a lower rate of functional independence at 90 days and a higher rate of mortality after thrombectomy in PCO versus ACO (odds ratios (OR) 0.72; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.57–0.90; OR 2.03; 95% CI 1.30–3.18). Recanalization rates were comparable (OR 1.01; 95% CI 0.62–1.65), but a higher futile recanalization rate was found in basilar artery occlusion (BAO) (OR 1.75; 95% CI 1.30–2.37). There was a lower rate of sICH in MT for patients with PCO versus ACO (OR 0.54; 95% CI 0.29–0.99).
Conclusions: We found that the outcomes of MT for patients with PCO were poorer than with ACO. On the other hand, MT appears to have lower rates of sICH and to increase successful recanalization. Given the high recanalization rate, MT may serve as an adjunct to standard treatment. The key point to improve outcomes is recognizing reliable factors associated with futile recanalization and optimizing the results of MT. But in view of the different characteristics of posterior circulation stroke and anterior circulation stroke, the results are far from robust.