A thrombectomy model based on Ex vivo whole human brains

Y. Liu, J. L.A. Larco, S. I. Madhani, A. H. Shahid, R. A. Quinton, R. Kadirvel, D. F. Kallmes, W. Brinjikji, L. E. Savastano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The persistent challenges in thrombectomy for large-vessel occlusion, such as suboptimal complete recanalization and first-pass effect imply an insufficient understanding of the artery-clot-device interaction. In this study, we present a thrombectomy model using fresh human brains, which can capture the artery-clot-device interaction through concurrent transmural and angiographic visualizations. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fresh nonfrozen whole adult human brains were collected and connected to a customized pump system tuned to deliver saline flow at a physiologic flow rate and pressure. Angiography was performed to verify the flow in the anterior-posterior and vertebrobasilar circulations and collaterals. Large-vessel occlusion was simulated by embolizing a radiopaque clot analog. Thrombectomy was tested, and the artery-clot-device interactions were recorded by transmural and angiographic videos. RESULTS: Baseline cerebral angiography revealed excellent penetration of contrast in the anterior-posterior and vertebrobasilar circulations without notable arterial cutoffs and with robust collaterals. Small branches (,0.5 mm) and perforating arteries were consistently opacified with good patency. Three device passes were performed to achieve recanalization, with failure modes including elongation, fragmentation, and distal embolization. CONCLUSIONS: This model enables concurrent transmural and angiographic analysis of artery-clot-device interaction in a human brain and provides critical insights into the action mechanism and failure modes of current and upcoming thrombectomy devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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