Objective: Stretching or avulsion of a small perforating artery caused by mechanical traction contributes to intracranial hemorrhagic complications in mechanical thrombectomy, especially for medium and small-vessel occlusions. This study aimed to measure the pullout resistance during stent retriever (SR) traction and aspiration catheter (AC) traction with or without thrombi and characterize the mechanical properties of each device.
Methods: We placed the thrombectomy device in the area corresponding to the insular segment of the middle cerebral artery of a silicon carotid artery model. The thrombectomy device was automatically pulled out at a constant velocity using a horizontal motorized test stand, and pullout resistance was continuously measured 2000 times per second using a digital force gauge. Five types of SRs and two types of ACs with or without thrombus were evaluated. The data were divided into four groups for analysis: SR without clot, SR with clot, AC without clot, and AC with clot.
Results: The line graph was a jagged waveform during SR traction, and it was a gentle curve during AC traction. The maximum pullout resistance was higher in the SR with clot group than the other groups. The coefficient of variation was higher in the SR group than the AC group, with or without clot.
Conclusion: The pullout resistance during SR traction was more fluctuated than that during AC traction. In the presence of a thrombus, pullout resistance for SR was substantially increased, whereas AC resistance was less susceptible to thrombi. The differences in characteristics may reflect differences in the frequency of mechanical traction injury between the devices during clinical use.