Balloon Guided Catheter Use Predicts Functional Independence

Mechanical thrombectomy has become the preferred treatment for patients suffering from large vessel occlusions but the most effective method for re-canalizing large vessel occlusion remains in debate.

A recent article illustrated the wide practice heterogeneity between neuro-interventionalists, with no less than twelve different techniques for endovascular treatment of stroke mentioned. Use vs. nonuse of a medical balloon guide catheter is an example of one such practice variation between different centers and neuro-interventionalists.

medical balloon testImage Source: Google

An inflatable guide catheter (also known as a balloon) is a support catheter that is typically inserted into the inner carotid artery (or often the common carotid when there is significant stenosis in the carotid internal) and is then inflated to create a flow stoppage during mechanical thrombectomy or, in some instances contact aspiration thrombectomy.

In the recently published study of Stroke, Zaidat discussed the use of balloon guide catheters in the registry, which is a multiple-center registry that records patients who have undergone mechanical thrombectomy using the Solitaire catheter.

To conduct the study patients with large vessel obstructions in the posterior circulation were excluded since the balloon guide catheters are utilized less often in these occlusions and patients who had a proximal carotid procedure like angioplasty or stenting were excluded. 

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