Background /Objective: Recent studies have suggested that a recanalization grade of modified Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction (mTICI) score ≥2c is strongly related with good clinical outcome rather than the current therapeutic angiography target ≥2b. To achieve better recanalization, additional further maneuvers on distal residual vessel occlusion (RVO) may be required. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of rescue treatment in RVOs after recanalization of large vessel occlusions in the anterior circulation. Methods: A single-center retrospective review of a prospectively maintained stroke databank was performed. Patients presenting with RVOs after mechanical thrombectomy on the M1/internal carotid artery terminus were included and further divided into treated and untreated groups: the former underwent additional maneuvers on RVOs, whereas the latter did not. Baseline and posttreatment clinical, radiologic, and angiographic data were compared between the 2 groups. End points included good functional outcome (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score ≤2) rates of hemorrhagic transformations, neurologic deterioration and mortality. Results: RVOs were observed in 183/488 patients (37.5%). 74/183 (40.4%) underwent rescue treatment, showing a better outcome in terms of median 24 hours National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score (13 vs. 18; P < 0001), 24 hours Alberta Stroke Programme Early CT Score (6 vs. 5; P < 0.001) and 3 months mRS score 0–2 (47.3% vs. 33.1%; P = 0.06). Recanalization of the superior (frontal) branch of the middle cerebral artery was particularly critical in terms of outcome. Hemorrhagic transformation was higher in the untreated group (53.6% vs. 66.6%; P = 0.1) as well as symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (13.1% vs. 29.4%; P = 0.01). Neurologic deterioration occurred more often among untreated patients (16.2% vs. 25.7%; P = 0.1). Three complications (1.3%) occurred during rescue treatment. Conclusions: When feasible, improving mTICI score 2a-2b recanalization to mTICI 2c/3 is safe and associated with a better clinical outcome, particularly for residual occlusions involving the superior branch of bifurcation.
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