Clot composition and recanalization outcomes in mechanical thrombectomy

Raul G. Nogueira*, Agostinho Pinheiro, Waleed Brinjikji, Mehdi Abbasi, Alhamza R. Al-Bayati, Mahmoud H. Mohammaden, Lorena Souza Viana, Felipe Ferreira, Hend Abdelhamid, Nirav R. Bhatt, 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 PatelJorge L. Arturo Larco, Sean Fitzgerald, Oana Madalina Mereuta, Karen Doyle, Luis E. Savastano, Harry J. Cloft, 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, Eric C. Polley, Michael R. Frankel, David F. Kallmes, Diogo C. Haussen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Mechanical thrombectomy (MT) has become standard for large vessel occlusions, but rates of complete recanalization are suboptimal. Previous reports correlated radiographic signs with clot composition and a better response to specific techniques. Therefore, understanding clot composition may allow improved outcomes. Methods: Clinical, imaging, and clot data from patients enrolled in the STRIP Registry from September 2016 to September 2020 were analyzed. Samples were fixed in 10% phosphate-buffered formalin and stained with hematoxylin-eosin and Martius Scarlett Blue. Percent composition, richness, and gross appearance were evaluated. Outcome measures included the rate of first-pass effect (FPE, modified Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction 2c/3) and the number of passes. Results: A total of 1430 patients of mean±SD age 68.4±13.5 years (median (IQR) baseline National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score 17.2 (10.5-23), IV-tPA use 36%, stent-retrievers (SR) 27%, contact aspiration (CA) 27%, combined SR+CA 43%) were included. The median (IQR) number of passes was 1 (1-2). FPE was achieved in 39.3% of the cases. There was no association between percent histological composition or clot richness and FPE in the overall population. However, the combined technique resulted in lower FPE rates for red blood cell (RBC)-rich (P<0.0001), platelet-rich (P=0.003), and mixed (P<0.0001) clots. Fibrin-rich and platelet-rich clots required a higher number of passes than RBC-rich and mixed clots (median 2 and 1.5 vs 1, respectively; P=0.02). CA showed a trend towards a higher number of passes with fibrin-rich clots (2 vs 1; P=0.12). By gross appearance, mixed/heterogeneous clots had lower FPE rates than red and white clots. Conclusions: Despite the lack of correlation between clot histology and FPE, our study adds to the growing evidence supporting the notion that clot composition influences recanalization treatment strategy outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberjnis-2023-020117
JournalJournal of neurointerventional surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Device
  • Stroke
  • Thrombectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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