The Evolution of Devices and Techniques in Endovascular Stroke Therapy

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Devin V. Bageac, BS, BA
Blake S. Gershon, BS
Reade A. De Leacy, MD


This chapter discusses the evolution of devices and techniques in endovascular stroke therapy, beginning with the development of effective intra-arterial thrombolysis in the late 1990s. We discuss the subsequent rise of early mechanical devices such as the Merci Retriever and Penumbra System, which, despite culminating in a series of failed trials in 2013, set the stage for the modern thrombectomy era. These first-generation devices gave way to the stent retriever, which would change the standard of care for acute large vessel occlusion stroke following a series of landmark trials in 2015. Finally, we discuss the more recent establishment of aspiration thrombectomy as an alternative to stent retrievers, as well as current investigations into novel devices and techniques that might further improve patient outcomes. Throughout, attention is paid to the regulatory landscape and evidentiary standards that shaped the field during its development in order to better understand how lessons from this history can guide future studies.


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Chapter 9