Background and purpose We aimed to identify the best definition of early neurological improvement (ENI) at 2 and 24 hours after mechanical thrombectomy (MT) and determine its ability to predict a good functional outcome at 3 months.
Methods This retrospective analysis was based on a prospectively collected registry of patients treated by MT for ischemic stroke from May 2010 to March 2017. We included patients treated with stent-retrievers with National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score before treatment and at 2 and/or 24 hours after treatment and modified Rankin Score (mRS) at 3 months. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was performed to estimate optimal thresholds for ENI at 2 and 24 hours. The relationship between optimal ENI definitions and good outcome at 3 months (mRS 0–2) was assessed by logistic regression.
Results The analysis included 246 patients. At 2 hours, the optimal threshold to predict a good outcome at 3 months was improvementin the NIHSS score of >1 point (AUC 0.83,95% CI 0.77 to 0.87), with sensitivity and specificity 78.3% (62.2–85.7%) and 84.6% (77.2–90.3%), respectively, and OR 12.67 (95% CI 4.69 to 31.10, p<0.0001). At 24 hours, the optimal threshold was an improvementin the NIHSS score of >4 points (AUC 0.93, 95% CI 0.89 to 0.96), with sensitivity and specificity 93.8% (87.7–97.5%) and 83.2% (75.7–89.2%), respectively, and OR 391.32 (95% CI 44.43 to 3448.35, p<0.0001).
Conclusions ENI 24 hours after thrombectomy appears to be a straightforward surrogate of long-term endpoints and may have value in future research.
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Contributors All authors have made a substantial contribution to the conception and design of the studies and/or the acquisition and/or the analysis of the data and/or the interpretation of the data; drafted the work or revised it for significant intellectual content; approved the final version of the manuscript; and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work, including its accuracy and integrity.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests LP is consultant for Balt, Microvention, Neuravi, and Penumbra.
Patient consent Obtained.
Ethics approval Ethics approval was obtained from Reims Ethics Committee.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.