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BACKGROUND: The benefits of intravenous thrombolysis for acute ischemic stroke are still limited. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of double-lumen balloon catheter-based reperfusion therapy with or without intra-arterial thrombolysis for acute occlusion of intracranial arteries. METHODS: Fifty-nine patients with acute occlusion of intracranial arteries were enrolled. A Gateway balloon catheter was used to disrupt clots or dilate atheromatous plaques in every patient. The technical details, technique-related complications, recanalization rates, and clinical outcomes were analyzed. RESULTS: The occlusion sites were internal carotid arteries in 17 patients, M1 segments in 32 patients, the M2 segment in 1 patient, a vertebral artery in 1 patient, and basilar arteries in 8 patients. Twenty-four patients (41%) were treated with thrombolysis first, and 20 patients (34%) were treated with percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) followed by thrombolysis. PTA alone was performed in 15 patients (25%). The mean dose of urokinase was 205 x 10 U. The extent of recanalization was complete (Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction [TIMI] score of 3) in 17 patients (29%), and partial (TIMI 1/2) in 28 patients (47%). Functional independence at discharge was preserved in 76%, 25%, and 7% of patients with TIMI 3, TIMI 1/2, and TIMI 0, respectively. A combination of PTA and thrombolysis resulted in a significantly higher recanalization rate than PTA only. Seven patients (12%) experienced hemorrhagic events after treatment. Severe parenchymal hemorrhage with neurologic deterioration was observed in 2 patients (4%), and vessel rupture was encountered in 1 atherosclerotic case. CONCLUSIONS: Mechanical angioplasty using a Gateway catheter combined with a low-dose thrombolytic agent is a safe and effective treatment for acute intracranial embolic and atherosclerotic occlusion with a low risk of hemorrhagic complications.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





ons189 - ons196


Acute Disease, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Angioplasty, Balloon, Cerebral Arterial Diseases, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Retrospective Studies, Tissue Plasminogen Activator, Treatment Outcome