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Large prospective observational studies have cast doubt on the common assumption that endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) is superior to intravenous thrombolysis for patients with acute basilar artery occlusion (BAO). The purpose of this study was to retrospectively review our experience for patients with BAO undergoing EVT with modern endovascular devices.
All consecutive patients undergoing EVT with either a second-generation stent retriever or direct aspiration thrombectomy for BAO at our regional stroke center from January 1, 2013 to March 1, 2019 were included. The primary outcome measure was functional outcome at 1 month using the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess the association between patient characteristics and dichotomized mRS.
A total of 43 consecutive patients underwent EVT for BAO. The average age was 67 years with 61% male patients. Overall, 37% (16/43) of patients achieved good functional outcome. Successful reperfusion was achieved in 72% (31/43) of cases. The median (interquartile range) stroke onset to treatment time was 420 (270–639) minutes (7 hours) for all patients. The procedure-related complication rate was 9% (4/43). On multivariate analysis, posterior circulation Alberta stroke program early computed tomography score and Basilar Artery on Computed Tomography Angiography score were associated with improved functional outcome.
EVT appears to be safe and feasible in patients with BAO. Our finding that time to treatment and successful reperfusion were not associated with improved outcome is likely due to including patients with established infarcts. Given the variability of collaterals in the posterior circulation, the paradigm of utilizing a tissue window may assist in patient selection for EVT. Magnetic resonance imaging may be a reasonable option to determine the extent of ischemia in certain situations.
The aim was to assess the ability of post-treatment diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) to predict 90-day functional outcome in patients with endovascular therapy (EVT) for large vessel occlusion in acute ischemic stroke (AIS).
We examined a retrospective cohort from March 2016 to January 2018, of consecutive patients with AIS who received EVT. Planimetric DWI was obtained and infarct volume calculated. Four blinded readers were asked to predict modified Rankin Score (mRS) at 90 days post-thrombectomy.
Fifty-one patients received endovascular treatment (mean age 65.1 years, median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) 18). Mean infarct volume was 43.7 mL. The baseline NIHSS, 24-hour NIHSS, and the DWI volume were lower for the mRS 0–2 group. Also, the thrombolysis in cerebral infarction (TICI) 2b/3 rate was higher in the mRS 0–2 group. No differences were found in terms of the occlusion level, reperfusion technique, or recombinant tissue plasminogen activator use. There was a significant association noted between average infarct volume and mRS at 90 days. On multivariable analysis, higher infarct volume was significantly associated with 90-day mRS 3–5 when adjusted to TICI scores and occlusion location (OR 1.01; CI 95% 1.001–1.03; p = 0.008). Area under curve analysis showed poor performance of DWI volume reader ability to qualitatively predict 90-day mRS.
The subjective impression of DWI as a predictor of clinical outcome is poorly correlated when controlling for premorbid status and other confounders. Qualitative DWI by experienced readers both overestimated the severity of stroke for patients who achieved good recovery and underestimated the mRS for poor outcome patients. Infarct core quantitation was reliable.
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