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Original research
Susceptibility vessel sign, a predictor of long-term outcome in patients with stroke treated with mechanical thrombectomy


Background The absence of the susceptibility vessel sign (SVS) in patients treated with mechanical thrombectomy (MT) is associated with poor radiological and clinical outcomes after 3 months. Underlying conditions, such as cancer, are assumed to influence SVS status and could potentially impact the long-term outcome. We aimed to assess SVS status as an independent predictor of long-term outcomes in MT-treated patients.

Methods SVS status was retrospectively determined in consecutive MT-treated patients at a comprehensive stroke center between 2010 and 2018. Predictors of long-term mortality and poor functional outcome (modified Rankin Scale (mRS) ≥3) up to 8 years were identified using multivariable Cox and logistic regression, respectively.

Results Of the 558 patients included, SVS was absent in 13% (n=71) and present in 87% (n=487) on baseline imaging. Patients without SVS were more likely to have active cancer (P=0.003) and diabetes mellitus (P<0.001) at the time of stroke. The median long-term follow-up time was 1058 days (IQR 533–1671 days). After adjustment for active cancer and diabetes mellitus, among others, the absence of SVS was associated with long-term mortality (adjusted HR (aHR) 2.11, 95% CI 1.35 to 3.29) and poor functional outcome in the long term (adjusted OR (aOR) 2.90, 95% CI 1.29 to 6.55).

Conclusion MT-treated patients without SVS have higher long-term mortality rates and poorer long-term functional outcome. It appears that this association cannot be explained by comorbidities alone, and further studies are warranted.

  • stroke
  • thrombectomy
  • MRI
  • neoplasm

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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