Ischemic stroke and concurrent cancer is increasingly recognized. However, optimal management is uncertain. As mechanical thrombectomy has become the standard of care for large vessel occlusion, more patients with cancer are presenting for embolectomy. However, it is unknown whether this subgroup has the same benefit profile described in multiple randomized trials for thrombectomy for large vessel occlusion. Our objective was to retrospectively evaluate a North American embolectomy database for safety and outcomes in patients with active cancer.
Materials and methods
A case series of 284 embolectomies over 30 months at a single North American stroke center were divided into thrombectomy patients with active cancer(n=25) and those without active cancer (n=259). We compared patient characteristics, procedural characteristics, and procedural outcomes between patients with and without active cancer. Univariate and multivariate analysis of angiographic outcomes, postoperative hemorrhage, and functional outcome was performed.
Of the 284 thrombectomy cases, 9% were performed on patients with active cancer. Active cancer patients had a similar recanalization grade and post-operative hemorrhage rate, compared to patients without cancer. Active cancer patients had a significantly higher 90 day mortality (40% vs 20%, p=0.018). On multivariate analysis, good functional outcome (mRS 0-2) was not impacted by active cancer. However, when mRS was evaluated as an ordinal shift analysis, worse functional outcome was associated with active cancer (OR 2.98; 95% CI, 1.29 to 6.59), greater age, NIHSS> 10, and ASPECTS<9.
This single center retrospective series of active cancer patients undergoing thrombectomy for large vessel occlusion demonstrates similar rates of recanalization, post-operative hemorrhage, and good outcomes. While the active cancer group has a high short-term mortality, the potential to maintain quality of life in the survivors makes thrombectomy reasonable in this patient population. Awareness of ischemic stroke as a complication of cancer and the safety of thrombectomy in this population are important as this population subtype is expected to grow with improved oncology and stroke care
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Published online: March 18, 2022
Accepted: February 23, 2022
Received in revised form: February 19, 2022
Received: October 26, 2021
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