Favourable arterial, tissue-level and venous collaterals correlate with early neurological improvement after successful thrombectomy treatment of acute ischaemic stroke

Background and purpose

Early neurological improvement (ENI) after thrombectomy is associated with better long-term outcomes in patients with acute ischaemic stroke due to large vessel occlusion (AIS-LVO). Whether cerebral collaterals influence the likelihood of ENI is poorly described. We hypothesised that favourable collateral perfusion at the arterial, tissue-level and venous outflow (VO) levels is associated with ENI after thrombectomy.

Materials and methods

Multicentre retrospective study of patients with AIS-LVO treated by thrombectomy. Tissue-level collaterals (TLC) were measured on cerebral perfusion studies by the hypoperfusion intensity ratio. VO and pial arterial collaterals (PAC) were determined by the Cortical Vein Opacification Score and the modified Tan scale on CT angiography, respectively. ENI was defined as improvement of ≥8 points or a National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score of 0 hour or 1 24 hours after treatment. Multivariable regression analyses were used to determine the association of collateral biomarkers with ENI and good functional outcomes (modified Rankin Scale 0–2).

Results

646 patients met inclusion criteria. Favourable PAC (OR: 1.9, CI 1.2 to 3.1; p=0.01), favourable VO (OR: 3.3, CI 2.1 to 5.1; p<0.001) and successful reperfusion (OR: 3.1, CI 1.7 to 5.8; p<0.001) were associated with ENI, but favourable TLC were not (p=0.431). Good functional outcomes at 90-days were associated with favourable TLC (OR: 2.2, CI 1.4 to 3.6; p=0.001), VO (OR: 5.7, CI 3.5 to 9.3; p<0.001) and ENI (OR: 5.7, CI 3.3 to 9.8; p<0.001), but not PAC status (p=0.647).

Conclusion

Favourable PAC and VO were associated with ENI after thrombectomy. Favourable TLC predicted longer term functional recovery after thrombectomy, but the impact of TLC on ENI is strongly dependent on vessel reperfusion.

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