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Experimental evaluation of stent retrievers’s mechanical properties and thrombi removal effectiveness

Abstract : A number of randomized controlled trials recently appeared in literature demonstrated that early mechanical thrombectomy offered to patients presenting with acute ischemic stroke is related to improved functional outcome in comparison to standard care intravenous fibrinolysis. Stent retrievers have been recognized in these trials as the most effective devices for intracranial thrombectomy. Currently, all industries producing neuro-interventional devices are launching into the market an increasing number of stent-based retriever tools. Each new device proposed for clinical use is supposed to have peculiar features allowing better performances in comparison to devices already available for clinical practice. Nevertheless, none clinical study has demonstrated so far the superiority, in terms of anatomical and clinical results, of a given stent retriever device. Furthermore, the mechanism of interaction between stent retrievers and thrombi has not exhaustively evaluated so far. In the present study we experimentally analyzed performances of all stent retrievers available into the French market up to Juin 2015. The aim of this study was to identify any device feature that was functional to the thrombus removal.Stent retrievers were evaluated by mechanical and functional test: mechanical tests were performed in order to investigate devices radial force, the aim was to evaluate the radial force exerted by the stent in two specific conditions: upon deployment and during the retrieval.Functional tests were aimed to visually evaluate the stent retriever’s ability in remaining in close apposition to the vessels wall and to maintain the thrombus engaged within its struts during the retrieval. We evaluated the interaction of the devices with thrombi of different features and sizes that we generated using human blood in order to obtain two types of clot: one softer “red type” that was composed by all elements of the whole blood and one stiffer “white type” that was mainly composed by platelet-rich plasma. Such tests were conducted using a rigid 3D printed vascular model reproducing the brain anterior circulation. Two neuro-interventionalists with experience in thrombectomy procedures performed functional tests, each experiment was filmed and two authors thereafter conducted visual analysis of the results.Mechanical tests showed different behavior in terms of radial pressure variation during retrieval for each stent. Constant radial pressure during retrieval was related to constant cohesion over the vessel wall during retrieval and higher rate of clot removal efficacy. All stent retrievers slide over the clot failing in clot removal when interact with white large thrombi (diameter>6 mm).
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Paolo Machi. Experimental evaluation of stent retrievers’s mechanical properties and thrombi removal effectiveness. Biomechanics [physics.med-ph]. Université Montpellier, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016MONTT263⟩. ⟨tel-01809007⟩

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