Background: Systemic intravenous thrombolysis and mechanical thrombectomy (MT) are guideline-recommended reperfusion therapies in large-vessel-occlusion ischemic stroke. However, for acute ischemic stroke of extracranial carotid artery origin (AIS-CA) there have been no specific trials, resulting in a data gap.
Material and Methods: We evaluated referral/treatment pathways, serial imaging, and neurologic 90-day outcomes in consecutive patients, presenting in a real-life series in 2 stroke centers over a period of 6 months, with AIS-CA eligible for emergency mechanical reperfusion (EMR) on top of thrombolysis as per guideline criteria.
Results: Of 30 EMR-eligible patients (33.3% in-window for thrombolysis and thrombolysed, 73.3% male, age 39-87 years, median Alberta Stroke Program Early Computed Tomography Score (ASPECTS) 10, pre-stroke mRS 0-1 in all, tandem lesions 26.7%), 20 (66.7%) were EMR-referred (60% - endovascular, 6.7% - surgery referrals). Only 40% received EMR, nearly exclusively in stroke centers with carotid artery stenting (CAS) expertise (100% eligible patient acceptance rate, 100% treatment delivery involving CAS±MT with culprit lesion sequestration using micronet-covered stents). The emergency surgery rate was 0%. Baseline clinical and imaging characteristics did not differ between EMR-treated and EMR-untreated patients. Ninety-day neurologic status was profoundly better in EMR-treated patients: mRS 0-2 (91.7% vs 0%; P<0.001); mRS 3-5 (8.3% vs 88.9%; P<0.001), mRS 6 (0% vs 11.1%; P<0.001).
Conclusions: In a real-life AIS-CA setting, the referral rate of EMR-eligible patients for EMR was low, and the treatment rate was even lower. AIS-CA revascularization was delivered predominantly in stroke thrombectomy-capable cardioangiology centers, resulting in overwhelmingly superior patient outcome. Large vessel occlusion stroke referral and management pathways should involve centers with proximal-protected CAS expertise. AIS-CA, irrespective of any thrombolysis administration, is a hyperacute cerebral emergency and EMR-eligible patients should be immediately referred for mechanical reperfusion.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Medical Science Monitor : International Medical Journal of Experimental and Clinical Research|
|Early online date||9 Nov 2022|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2022|
- Carotid Stenosis
- Endovascular Procedures
- Ischemic Stroke
- Mechanical Thrombolysis