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Can early neurological improvement after mechanical thrombectomy be used as a surrogate for final stroke outcome?
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  • Published on:
    Early neurological improvement following mechanical thrombectomy with general anesthesia
    • William K. Diprose, Neurology Registrar University of Auckland
    • Other Contributors:
      • Michael T.M. Wang, PhD Candidate
      • Doug Campbell, Neuroanesthesiologist
      • P. Alan Barber, Professor of Clinical Neurology

    We read with interest the article by Soize et al. “Can early neurological improvement after mechanical thrombectomy be used as a surrogate for final stroke outcome?”[1] Based on their results, the authors concluded that early neurological improvement (ENI) 24 hours after thrombectomy is a straightforward surrogate of long-term outcome. However, all patients in this study were treated with conscious sedation (CS), and not general anesthesia (GA). The residual effects of GA may mask ENI and limit its utility as a surrogate for long-term outcome.[2]

    We performed a similar analysis of patients enrolled in a prospective single-center registry. The ability of ENI to predict 3-month functional independence was assessed by the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and compared using the independent-samples Hanley test. Multivariable linear regression assessing the relationship between anesthetic technique and ENI was also performed. The analysis received ethics approval.

    291 patients were treated with thrombectomy, with 261 (89.7%) procedures performed with GA, and 30 (10.3%) with CS. All patients were de-sedated and extubated more than 12 hours before 24-hour National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale assessment. 174 (59.8%) patients achieved 3-month functional independence. Baseline and procedural characteristics did not differ between GA and CS patients (all P>0.05). ENI demonstrated better prognostic ability in CS (AUC 0.91, 95% confiden...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.