Background: Some reports suggest the efficacy of mechanical thrombectomy (MT) for acute vertebrobasilar artery (VBA) occlusion. The major causes of VBA occlusion include cardioembolism (CE) and large-artery atherosclerosis (LAA). However, the clinical characteristics of each cause remain unclear, and they might be important for decision making related to the indications and strategy of MT. Objective: This study aimed to compare functional outcomes and factors affecting outcomes between patients with CE and LAA with acute VBA occlusion. Methods: This was a retrospective and prospective observational study using data from TREAT (Tokyo-Tama-Registry of Acute Endovascular Thrombectomy), a multicenter registry of MT for acute large-vessel occlusion in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Patients with VBA occlusion classified into CE and LAA groups were analyzed. The primary outcome was a modified Rankin Scale score of 0–2 at 90 days. Results: Seventy-nine patients (57 with CE and 22 with LAA) were eligible from January 2015 to March 2020. Despite significantly shorter puncture-to-recanalization and onset-or-last-well-known-to-recanalization times in the CE group, the primary outcome was not significantly different between the 2 groups (CE, 31.6% vs. LAA, 45.5%; P = 0.248). In the subgroup analysis, patients with CE had worse clinical outcomes in the onset-or-last-well-known-to-door time ≥180 minutes, onset-or-last-well-known-to-door time ≥300 minutes, and low posterior circulation Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score (≤7) subgroups. Conclusions: Functional outcomes of VBA occlusion were not significantly different between CE and LAA. Based on the subgroup analysis, patients with CE might have poorer collateral status than do patients with LAA, and earlier recanalization might therefore be desired.
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