Drip, Ship, and Retrieve: Cooperative Recanalization Therapy in Acute Basilar Artery Occlusion

T. Pfefferkorn, M. Holtmannspotter, C. Schmidt, A. Bender, H.-W. Pfister, A. Straube, T. E. Mayer, H. Bruckmann, M. Dichgans, G. Fesl
2010 Stroke  
and Purpose-In acute basilar artery occlusion, intra-arterial thrombolysis or endovascular mechanical recanalization may result in higher recanalization rates than intravenous thrombolysis. However, many patients are admitted to community hospitals, where endovascular therapy is usually not readily available. We initiated a "drip, ship, and retrieve" cooperative treatment protocol in 2006, in which thrombolysis was initiated in the community hospital with simultaneous referral to our stroke
more » ... er and the use of endovascular mechanical recanalization as required. Methods-The outcome of all consecutive patients treated by this protocol between 2006 and June 2009 was compared with that of a similar population of referred patients who had received primary intra-arterial therapy with or without tirofiban bridging at our center between 2003 and 2005. Results-In both groups, 26 patients were identified. The rate of symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage was 12% in previous patients and 8% in those treated under the new protocol. Recanalization rates were similar: 92% in previous patients and 85% with the new protocol; 38% of these had recanalization after intravenous thrombolysis alone. Functional outcome was better among those treated with the new protocol, with more patients achieving a modified Rankin scale score Յ2 (38% versus 12%; Pϭ0.03) and Յ3 (50% versus 23%; Pϭ0.04). Conclusions-"Drip, ship, and retrieve" seems to be feasible and safe in acute basilar artery occlusion. Patients appear to benefit from initiation of intravenous thrombolysis in the community hospital before transfer. Randomized controlled trials will have to confirm the expected benefit of subsequent on-demand mechanical recanalization on clinical outcome. (Stroke. 2010;41:722-726.
doi:10.1161/strokeaha.109.567552 pmid:20150550 fatcat:d4dzpfduszbujiwqvvcrtokvg4