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Clinical significance and prevalence of subarachnoid hyperdensities on flat detector CT after mechanical thrombectomy: does it really matter?


Background Subarachnoid hyperdensities after mechanical thrombectomy (MT) are a common finding. However, it is often regarded as clinically insignificant.

Objective With this single-center investigation, to identify the prevalence of subarachnoid hyperdensities following MT, associated predictors, and the impact on the clinical outcome of the patients.

Methods 383 patients from the stroke registry were analyzed for the presence of subarachnoid hyperdensities on flat detector CT (FDCT) directly after the completion of MT, and on follow-up dual-energy CT, then classified according to a visual grading scale. 178 patients were included with anterior circulation occlusions. Regression analysis was performed to identify significant predictors, and Kruskal-Wallis analysis and Χ2 test were performed to test the variables among the different groups. The primary outcome was the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score at 90 days and was analyzed with the Wilcoxon–Mann-Whitney rank-sum test.

Results The prevalence of subarachnoid hyperdensities on FDCT was (66/178, 37.1%) with patients experiencing a significant unfavorable outcome (P=0.035). Significantly fewer patients with subarachnoid hyperdensities achieved a mRS score of ≤3 at 90 days 25/66 (37.9%) vs 60/112 (53.6%), P=0.043). In addition, mortality was significantly higher in the subarachnoid hyperdensities group (34.8% vs 19.6%, P=0.024). Distal occlusions and a higher number of device passes were significantly associated with subarachnoid hyperdensities (P=0.026) and (P=0.001), respectively. Patients who received intravenous tissue plasminogen activator had significantly fewer subarachnoid hyperdensities (P=0.029).

Conclusions Postinterventional subarachnoid hyperdensities are a frequent finding after MT and are associated with neurological decline and worse functional outcome. They are more common with distal occlusions and multiple device passes.

  • angiography
  • thrombectomy
  • subarachnoid
  • stroke
  • hemorrhage

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. Individual participant data that underlie the results reported in this article (after de-identification) will be available upon reasonable request. These proposals should be directed to the corresponding author.

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