Background The optimal treatment and prognosis for stroke patients with tandem cervical carotid occlusion are unclear. We analyzed outcomes and treatment strategies of tandem occlusion patients in the ESCAPE-NA1 trial.
Methods ESCAPE-NA1 was a multicenter international randomized trial of nerinetide versus placebo in 1105 patients with acute ischemic stroke who underwent endovascular treatment. We defined tandem occlusions as complete occlusion of the cervical internal carotid artery (ICA) on catheter angiography, in addition to a proximal ipsilateral intracranial large vessel occlusion. Baseline characteristics and outcome parameters were compared between patients with tandem occlusions versus those without, and between patients with tandem occlusion who underwent ICA stenting versus those who did not. The influence of tandem occlusions on functional outcome was analyzed using multivariable regression modeling.
Results Among 115/1105 patients (10.4%) with tandem occlusions, 62 (53.9%) received stenting for the cervical ICA occlusion. Of these, 46 (74.2%) were stented after and 16 (25.8%) before the intracranial thrombectomy. A modified Rankin Score (mRS) of 0–2 at 90 days was achieved in 82/115 patients (71.3%) with tandem occlusions compared with 579/981 (59.5%) patients without tandem occlusions. Tandem occlusion did not impact functional outcome in the adjusted analysis (OR 1.5, 95% CI 0.95 to 2.4). Among the subgroup of patients with tandem occlusion, cervical carotid stenting was not associated with different outcomes compared with no stenting (mRS 0–2: 75.8% vs 66.0%, adjusted OR 2.0, 95% CI 0.8 to 5.1).
Conclusions Tandem cervical carotid occlusion in patients with acute large vessel stroke did not lower the odds of good functional outcome in our study. Functional outcomes were similar irrespective of the management of the cervical ICA occlusion (stenting vs not stenting).
Data availability statement
Access to data from the ESCAPE-NA1 trial supporting these findings is planned for the future but is not currently publicly available
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Contributors MM and MA contributed to the conceptualization and statistical analysis and drafted the manuscript. PC, AYP, NK, NS, JO, AM, MDH and MG contributed to data acquisition, conceptualization, analysis and critical revision of the manuscript. The remaining authors contributed to data acquisition, data interpretation and critical revision of the manuscript. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.
Funding The ESCAPE-NA1 trial was funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Alberta Innovates, and NoNO Inc.
Competing interests AYP: Research grant from Stryker for EASI-TOC study, PI of EASI-TOC study. JMO: funds from the University of Basel Research Foundation, Julia Bangerter Rhyner Foundation, Freiwillige Akademische Gesellschaft Basel. RGN: fees/compensation from Stryker, Medtronic, Cerenovus/Neuravi, Phenox, Anaconda, Genentech, Biogen, Prolong Pharmaceuticals, Brainomix, Viz.ai, Corindus Vascular Robotics, Vesalio, and Ceretrieve; member of the Physician Advisory Board for Cerenovus/Neuravi. ADM: grants from NoNO; honoraria from Medtronic; patent Circle NVI. BKM: shares in Circle NVI; patent for systems of triage in acute stroke. MT: CEO of NoNO; patents owned by NoNO. MDH: grants from Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Alberta Innovates, NoNO, Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada, National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Covidien, Boehringer-Ingleheim, Stryker, and Medtronic; fees from Merck; patent for systems of acute stroke diagnosis; stock in Calgary Scientific. MG: personal fees from Mentice, Medtronic, Microvention, Stryker; patent for systems of acute stroke diagnosis. BKM holds a patent on systems of triage in acute stroke and stock ownership in Circle Neurovascular Inc. MG is a consultant for Medtronic, Stryker, Microvention, GE Healthcare, and Mentice. MDH reports grants from CIHR during the conduct of the study, grants from Medtronic, and grants from NoNO Inc outside the submitted work. In addition, he has a patent to US Patent Office number: 62/086,077 issued and licensed, and Director, Board of Circle Neurovascular, Director, Board of the Canadian Neuroscience Federation, and Director, Board of the Canadian Stroke Consortium.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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