Free floating thrombus (FFT) is a rare condition. The optimal treatment strategy is yet to be determined although medical management with anticoagulation is the mainstay. This article reports experience of treating FFT with carotid stenting.
A retrospective analysis of a prospectively maintained database was performed to identify all patients with FFT treated with carotid stenting. For each patient the demographic data, clinical presentation, location of the thrombus, type of stent and use of adjunctive devices, e.g. balloon guide catheters, clinical and radiological follow-up information as well as complications were recorded.
A total of 7 patients, 4 female, with mean age of 55.6 ± 14.5 years were identified. The median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) was 7 (range 0-13) at presentation. Free floating thrombus was seen on the left in the majority of cases (n = 6, 85.7%). None of the patients had intracranial large vessel occlusion. The FFT was located in the CCA in 2 cases (28.6%) and the proximal ICA in the remaining 5 cases (71.4%). The Wallstent was used in 5 patients and a cGuard stent used in 2 patients. In 1 patient 2 overlapping stents were used but a single stent was used in the remaining patients. In 6 cases a distal filter wire was used and in 2 cases a balloon guide catheter was used as embolic protection. There were no intraoperative complications and no cases of distal clot migration or intracranial large vessel occlusion during the procedure. At last follow-up (n = 7) 6 patients were recorded as modified Rankin Scale (mRS) ≤2 and 1 patient was mRS 3.
Free floating thrombus of the carotid arteries can be managed with stenting.