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Infarct volume after ischemic stroke as a mediator of the effect of endovascular thrombectomy on early postprocedural neurologic deficit

      Abstract

      Objectives

      The beneficial effect of endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) on clinical outcome is assumed to be caused by reduced follow-up infarct volume (FIV), which could serve as an early imaging endpoint. However, the effect of EVT on the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) was poorly explained by FIV. NIHSS at 5-7 days could be a more specific measure of the effect of reperfusion therapy, as opposed to the mRS at 3 months. Therefore, we aimed to assess to what extent the effect of EVT on NIHSS is explained by FIV.

      Materials and methods

      We used data from the MR CLEAN (Multicenter Randomized Clinical Trial of Endovascular Treatment for Acute Ischemic Stroke in the Netherlands; n = 500) trial to evaluate the mediating role of FIV within 1 week in the relationship between EVT and baseline adjusted NIHSS at 5–7 days.

      Results

      Larger FIVs were associated with higher NIHSS after treatment (adjusted beta-coefficient (aβ) 0.47;95%CI 0.39-0.55). EVT was associated with smaller FIVs (β -0.35;95%CI-0.64 to -0.06) and lower NIHSS (β -0.63;95%CI-0.90 to -0.35). After adjustment for FIV, the effect of EVT on NIHSS decreased (aβ -0.47;95%CI-0.72 to -0.23), indicating that effect of EVT on neurologic deficit is partially mediated by FIV. Reduction of FIV explained 34% (95%CI;5%–93%) of the effect of EVT on the NIHSS at 5–7 days.

      Conclusions

      Larger FIV was significantly associated with larger neurological deficits after treatment. Reduced infarct volume after EVT explains one third of treatment benefit in terms of neurological deficit. This suggests that FIV is of interest as an imaging biomarker of stroke treatment effect.

      Keywords

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