Department of Medicine Publications

Document Type


Publication Date



American Journal of Neuroradiology





First Page


Last Page


URL with Digital Object Identifier



BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Cervical internal carotid artery (ICA) occlusion with middle cerebral artery (MCA) embolic occlusion is associated with a low rate of recanalization and poor outcome after intravenous thrombolysis. Prompt revascularization is required to prevent disabling stroke. We report our experience on acute ischemic stroke patients with tandem ICA or MCA occlusions treated with microcathether navigation and intra-arterial thrombolysis by use of collateral pathways including the posterior or anterior communicating arteries, or both pathways. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively identified 8 patients with proximal ICA occlusion associated with MCA embolic occlusions treated with intra-arterial thrombolysis (IA rtPA). Access to the occluded MCA was obtained via catheter navigation through intact collateral pathways, including posterior communicating (PcomA) or anterior communicating (AcomA) arteries, without passing a microcathether through the acutely occluded ICA. We assessed clinical outcomes using modified Rankin scale (mRS) and National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS). RESULTS: Eight patients with a mean age of 57 ± 4 years and median NIHSS of 14 were identified. Mean time from stroke onset to intra-arterial thrombolysis was 292 ± 44 minutes. The MCA was revascularized completely in 5 of the 8 patients via collateral intra-arterial rtPA administration. All of the patients had a favorable outcome defined as a mRS of ≤2 or more at 1 and 3 months' follow-up after thrombolytic therapy. One patient had an asymptomatic petechial hemorrhage. CONCLUSION: In this small number of patients with tandem occlusions of the ICA and MCA, intraarterial thrombolysis and recanalization of the MCA by use of collateral pathways to bypass the occluded ICA is a safe and efficacious therapeutic option.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.