Electrical impedance measurements can identify red blood cell–rich content in acute ischemic stroke clots ex vivo associated with first-pass successful recanalization

Electrical impedance measurements can identify red blood cell–rich content in acute ischemic stroke clots ex vivo associated with first-pass successful recanalization

Background

Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy can determine characteristics such as cell density, size, and shape. The development of an electrical impedance–based medical device to estimate acute ischemic stroke (AIS) clot characteristics could improve stroke patient outcomes by informing clinical decision making.

Objectives

To assess how well electrical impedance combined with machine learning identified red blood cell (RBC)–rich composition of AIS clots ex vivo, which is associated with a successfully modified first-pass effect.

Methods

A total of 253 clots from 231 patients who underwent thrombectomy in 5 hospitals in France, Japan, Serbia, and Spain between February 2021 and October 2023 were analyzed in the Clotbase International Registry. Electrical impedance measurements were taken following clot retrieval by thrombectomy, followed by Martius Scarlet Blue staining. The clot components were quantified via Orbit Image Analysis, and RBC percentages were correlated with the RBC estimations made by the electrical impedance machine learning model.

Results

Quantification by Martius Scarlet Blue staining identified RBCs as the major component in clots (RBCs, 37.6%; white blood cells, 5.7%; fibrin, 25.5%; platelets/other, 30.3%; and collagen, 1%). The impedance-based RBC estimation correlated well with the RBC content determined by histology, with a slope of 0.9 and Spearman’s correlation of r = 0.7. Clots removed in 1 pass were significantly richer in RBCs and clots with successful recanalization in 1 pass (modified first-pass effect) were richer in RBCs as assessed using histology and impedance signature.

Conclusion

Electrical impedance estimations of RBC content in AIS clots are consistent with histologic findings and may have potential for clinically relevant parameters.
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