Iatrogenic foreign materials associated with retrieved clot tissue via mechanical thrombectomy

M. Abbasi, D. Dai, Y. Liu, S. Fitzgerald, R. Kadirvel, L. E. Savastano, H. Cloft, D. F. Kallmes, W. Brinjikji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Hydrophilic polymers and polytetrafluoroethylene liners, commonly used in the construction of endovascular devices, occasionally separate from devices with subsequent embolization. We determined the frequency of such materials in thrombus specimens retrieved by mechanical thrombectomy in patients with stroke. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed H&E-stained thrombus sections for presence and types of foreign materials. We identified 4 types of foreign materials-Type I: Material was light green with refraction and had a homogeneous texture; type II: Material was light gray and/or dark gray, thin, and loose or attenuated in texture; type III: Material was light green with refraction, solitary in texture, irregular in shape, and was often associated with round or oval bubblelike particles and/or diffuse black particles; and type IV: Material had homogeneous texture and was light pink or red. In addition, polymer materials from different layers of used mechanical thrombectomy catheters were compared with the foreign materials found in thrombus specimens. RESULTS: A total of 101 thrombi were evaluated. Foreign materials were found in 53 (52.5%) thrombus samples. The most common type was type I (92%), followed by type II (30%). The histopathologic features of the polymer materials from mechanical thrombectomy catheters were similar to the foreign materials found in thrombus specimens. The inner polytetrafluoroethylene liner and coating layer of catheters resembled type I and type II of the foreign materials, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Foreign polymer materials are present in approximately half of retrieved thrombi, most commonly polytetrafluoroethylene from catheter liners and less from hydrophilic coatings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1239-1249
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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