Background: Stent retriever technology has evolved, and significantly longer devices have become available for mechanical thrombectomy (MT) of large cerebral vessel occlusions in ischemic stroke. We hypothesized that increased stent retriever length may improve the rate of complete angiographic reperfusion and decrease the respective number of attempts, resulting in a better clinical outcome. Methods: Retrospective analysis of patients with large vessel occlusion in the anterior and posterior circulation treated with stent retriever MT. The study group was dichotomized into short (20 mm) and long (>20 mm) retrievers using propensity matching. In the anterior circulation, the clot burden score was evaluated. Primary end points were first-pass modified thrombolysis in cerebral infarction (mTICI) 3 reperfusion and first-pass mTICI ≥ 2b reperfusion, and the secondary end point was functional independence (defined as modified Rankin Scale score 0–2) at discharge and 90 days. Results: Overall, 394 patients were included in the analysis. In the anterior circulation, short stent retrievers had a significantly higher rate of first-pass reperfusion in cases with low clot burden (mTICI 3: 27% vs. 17%; p = 0.009; mTICI ≥ 2b: 42 vs. 30%; p = 0.005) and in middle cerebral artery occlusions (mTICI ≥ 2b: 51 vs. 41%; p = 0.024). Higher rates of favorable outcome at discharge and 90 days were observed for the short stent retriever group (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Stent retriever length should be adjusted to clot burden score and vessel occlusion site.

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