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Original research
NCCT and CTA-based imaging protocol for endovascular treatment selection in late presenting or wake-up strokes


Introduction Recently, the benefit of selecting patients for endovascular treatment (EVT) beyond the 6-hour time window using a tissue-based approach was demonstrated in two randomized trials. The optimal imaging protocol for selecting patients is under debate, and it is still unknown if a simpler and faster protocol may adequately select patients with wake-up stroke (WUS) and late-presenting stroke (LPS) for EVT.

Objective To compare outcomes of patients submitted to EVT presenting within 6 hours of symptom onset or 6–24 hours after last seen well, selected using non-contrast computed tomography (NCCT) and CT angiography (CTA).

Methods An observational study was performed, which included consecutive patients with anterior circulation ischemic stroke with large vessel occlusion treated with EVT. Patients presenting within 6 hours were treated if their NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score was ≥6 and Alberta Stroke Program Early CT score (ASPECTS) was ≥6, while patients presenting with WUS or 6–24 hours after last seen well (WUS/LPS) were treated if their NIHSSscore was ≥12 and ASPECTS was ≥7.

Results 249 patients were included, 63 of whom were in the WUS/LPS group. Baseline characteristics were similar between groups, except for longer symptom-recanalization time, lower admission NIHSS (16 vs 17, P=0.038), more frequent tandem occlusions (25.4% vs 11.8%, P=0.010), and large artery atherosclerosis etiology (22.2% vs 11.8%, P=0.043) in the WUS/LPS group. No differences in symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage, peri-procedural complications or mortality were found between groups. Three-month functional independence was similar in both groups (65.1% in WUS/LPS vs 57.0% in ≤6 hours, P=0.259) and no differences were found after adjustment for confounders.

Conclusions This real-world observational study suggests that EVT may be safe and effective in patients with WUS and LPS selected using clinical-core mismatch (high NIHSS/high ASPECTS in NCCT).

  • stroke
  • intervention
  • thrombectomy

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