Background Although recanalization rates constantly increase (>80%), a favorable clinical outcome is achieved in only 45–55% of patients undergoing mechanical thrombectomy (MT) for anterior circulation stroke. Collateral circulation seems to play a major role in determining this discrepancy. The aim of the study was to investigate a novel angiographic landmark assessing the collateral venous phase (CVP) compared with the American Society of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology/Society of Interventional Radiology (ASITN/SIR) score, based on the arterial collateral assessment.
Methods Two hundred patients with anterior circulation stroke treated by MT between 2016 and 2021 were included. The ASITN/SIR score and the presence of CVP were blindly evaluated by expert neuroradiologists. Three subanalyses were performed comparing patients with good versus poor collaterals, CVP presence versus absence, and a composite analysis including both ASITN/SIR and CVP grading results.
Results Good collateral circulation (ASITN >2) was observed in 113 patients (56.5%) whereas CVP was present in 90 patients (45%) and mostly in patients with good collaterals. Favorable clinical and neuroradiological outcomes were more likely observed in patients with both good collaterals and the presence of CVP than in those with good collaterals and absence of CVP (modified Rankin Scale score 0–2: 77.3% vs 7.9%, p<0.0001; mortality: 9.3% vs 26.3%, p=0.02; 24-hour Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score: 8 vs 6, p<0.0001), while ASITN/SIR score alone was not significantly associated with clinical outcomes.
Conclusions The presence of CVP improves the angiographic assessment of collateral circulation. CVP could be proposed as a new imaging landmark to better understand the functionality of collaterals.
Data availability statement
Data are available upon reasonable request. Data are available upon reasonable request to the corresponding author.
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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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