Background In anterior circulation large vessel occlusion (LVO) in the extended time window, the guidelines recommend advanced imaging (ADVI) to select patients for endovascular therapy (EVT). However, questions remain regarding its availability and applicability in the real world. It is unclear whether an approach to the extended window EVT that does not use ADVI would be equivalent.
Methods In April 2022, a literature search was performed to identified randomized controlled trials (RCT) and observational studies describing 90-day outcomes. We performed a meta-analysis of the proportion of aggregate using a random effect to estimate rates of functional independence, defined as modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score ≤2 at 90 days, mean mRS, mortality and symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (sICH) stratified by imaging modality.
Results Four RCTs and 28 observational studies were included. The pooled proportion of functional independence among patients selected by ADVI was 44% (95% CI 39% to 48%; I2=80%) and 48% (95% CI 41% to 55%; I2=75%) with non-contrast CT/CT angiography (NCCT/CTA) (p=0.36). Mean mRS with ADVI was 2.88 (95% CI 2.36 to 3.41; I2=0.0%) and 2.79 (95% CI 2.31 to 3.27; I2=0.0%) with NCCT (p=0.79). Mortality in patients selected by ADVI was 13% (95% CI 10% to 17%; I2=81%) and 16% (95% CI 12% to 22%; I2=69%) with NCCT (p=0.29). sICH with ADVI was 4% (95% CI 3% to 7%; I2=73%) and 6% with NCCT/CTA (95% CI 4% to 8%; I2=6%, p=0.27).
Conclusions Our study suggests that, in anterior circulation LVO, the rates of functional independence may be similar when patients are selected using ADVI or NCCT for EVT in the extended time window. A simplified triage protocol does not seem to increase mortality or sICH.
Protocol registration number (PROSPERO ID: CRD42021236092).
Data availability statement
Data are available upon reasonable request.
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Contributors Conception and design of the study: JMS, CA-D, LE and AR-C. Acquisition and analysis of data: JMS, AR-C, SSC-M, MM, CM-M, GA-G, AQ-L, WH-F, CA-D and KP-B. Drafting a significant portion of the manuscript or figures: JMS, CA-D, LE, SO-G, DH, ASA, AVA, AR-C. Guarantor: JMS.
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 None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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