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Keywords:

  • acute stroke therapy;
  • cerebral blood flow;
  • cerebral infarction;
  • clinical trial;
  • intervention;
  • stroke

Background

Acute treatment of ischemic stroke patients presenting more than eight-hours after symptom onset remains limited and largely unproven. Partial aortic occlusion using the NeuroFlo catheter can augment cerebral perfusion in animals. We investigated the safety and feasibility of employing this novel catheter to treat ischemic stroke patients eight-hours to 24 h following symptom onset.

Methods

A multicenter, single-arm trial enrolled ischemic stroke patients at nine international academic medical centers. Eligibility included age 18–85 years old, National Institutes of Health stroke scale (NIHSS) score between four and 20, within eight-hours to 24 h after symptom onset, and perfusion–diffusion mismatch confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging. The primary outcome was all adverse events occurring from baseline to 30 days posttreatment. Secondary outcomes included stroke severity on neurological indices through 90 days. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00436592.

Results

A total of 26 patients were enrolled. Of these, 25 received treatment (one excluded due to aortic morphology); five (20%) died. Favorable neurological outcome at 90 days (modified Rankin score 0–2 vs. 3–6) was associated with lower baseline NIHSS (P < 0·001) and with longer duration from symptom discovery to treatment. There were no symptomatic intracranial hemorrhages or parenchymal hematomas. Asymptomatic intracranial hemorrhage was visible on computed tomography in 32% and only on microbleed in another 20%.

Conclusions

Partial aortic occlusion using the NeuroFlo catheter, a novel collateral therapeutic strategy, appears safe and feasible in stroke patients eight-hours to 24 h after symptom onset.