Background and Purpose: End-of-procedure substantial reperfusion [modified Treatment in Cerebral Ischemia (mTICI) 2b-3], the leading endpoint for thrombectomy studies, has several limitations including a ceiling effect, with recent achieved rates of ~90%. We aimed to identify a more optimal definition of angiographic success along two dimensions: (1) the extent of tissue reperfusion, and (2) the speed of revascularization.

Methods: Core-lab adjudicated TICI scores for the first three passes of EmboTrap and the final all-procedures result were analyzed in the ARISE II multicenter study. The clinical impact of extent of reperfusion and speed of reperfusion (first-pass vs. later-pass) were evaluated. Clinical outcomes included 90-day functional independence [modified Rankin Scale (mRS) 0–2], 90-day freedom-from-disability (mRS 0–1), and dramatic early improvement [24-h National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) improvement ≥ 8 points].

Results: Among 161 ARISE II subjects with ICA or MCA M1 occlusions, reperfusion results at procedure end showed substantial reperfusion in 149 (92.5%), excellent reperfusion in 121 (75.2%), and complete reperfusion in 79 (49.1%). Reperfusion rates on first pass were substantial in 81 (50.3%), excellent reperfusion in 62 (38.5%), and complete reperfusion in 44 (27.3%). First-pass excellent reperfusion (first-pass TICI 2c-3) had the greatest nominal predictive value for 90-day mRS 0–2 (sensitivity 58.5%, specificity 68.6%). There was a progressive worsening of outcomes with each additional pass required to achieve TICI 2c-3.

Conclusions: First-pass excellent reperfusion (TICI 2c-3), reflecting rapid achievement of extensive reperfusion, is the technical revascularization endpoint that best predicted functional independence in this international multicenter trial and is an attractive candidate for a lead angiographic endpoint for future trials.

Clinical Trial Registration: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov, identifier NCT02488915. Keywords: intra-arterial therapy, reperfusion grading, reperfusion, brain ischaemia, cerebral infacrction, stent retriever, mechanical thrombectomy

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Copyright © 2021 Yoo, Soomro, Andersson, Saver, Ribo, Bozorgchami, Dabus, Liebeskind, Jadhav, Mattle and Zaidat. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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