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The current American Heart Association guidelines for acute ischemic stroke reserve Grade 1A recommendation for the use of endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) for patients with an Alberta Stroke Program Early Computed Tomography Score (ASPECTS) of ≥6.
We aim to determine the safety and efficacy of EVT for large vessel occlusion ischemic stroke patients with low ASPECTS (5 or less).
Medline, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and ClinicalTrials.gov were searched for studies appraising the outcomes of EVT for low ASPECTS ischemic stroke. A meta-analysis of proportions compared the clinical outcomes of patients undergoing EVT and those receiving best medical therapy only.
Nine studies (1,196 patients) were included. There was a trend (p = 0.11) toward a higher rate of symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (sICH) in the EVT group (9.2%; 95% CI 6.1–13.6; I2 53.37%) compared to the medical group (5.5%; 95% CI 3.7–8.1; I2 0%). There was no difference (p = 0.41) in the pooled 90-day mortality of EVT patients (30.7%; 95% CI 21.7–41.5; I2 84.23%) and medical patients (36.6%; 95% CI 26.4–48.1; I2 76.2%). EVT patients had better (p = 0.001) 90-day outcomes, with 27.7% (95% CI 21.8–34.5; I2 62.08%) of patients attaining a modified Rankin Scale of 0–2 compared to only 3.7% (95% CI 2.3–5.9; I2 87.21%) in the medical group.
This meta-analysis demonstrates a trend in higher sICH among low ASPECTS patients undergoing EVT. Despite this, a significant proportion of this subset of patients still achieved good functional outcomes at 90 days. Randomized trials are necessary to substantiate this result as significant bias is inherent in the observational studies included in this review.
Intravenous tissue-type plasminogen activator (IVtPA) is a proven treatment for acute ischemic stroke; however, diabetes mellitus (DM) and previous cerebral infarction (PCI) were considered relative contraindications for thrombolysis within the 3–4.5 h period.
The study aimed to determine the safety and efficacy of IVtPA among diabetic patients with PCI presenting with acute ischemic stroke.
Studies which evaluated the outcome of IVtPA in terms of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage (sICH), functional outcome in modified Rankin scale, and death among diabetic patients with PCI presenting with acute ischemic stroke within the 3–4.5 h period were systematically searched until July 2019. Screening and eligibility criteria were applied. Risk of bias was evaluated using the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence interval (CI) were used to compare measures of treatment effect. Mantel–Haenszel method and random-effects model were also employed.
Four registry-based studies with a total of 44,572 patients were included for quantitative synthesis. Giving IVtPA among DM+/PCI+ patients did not result in significantly increased rate of sICH (OR, 1.09; 95% CI, 0.88, 1.36) compared to No DM+/PCI+ patients. However, there was significantly higher mortality (OR, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.60, 2.06) in the DM+/PCI+ group. Conversely, among those who survived, the DM+/PCI+ patients were more functionally independent at 3 months (OR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.61, 0.94).
Limited evidence suggests that thrombolysis in DM+/PCI+ patients does not result in significantly higher incidence of sICH and may improve functional independence. However, the significantly higher mortality in this group warrants an assessment of the individualized risk–benefit ratio in the use of IVtPA.
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