Background: Endovascular clot retrieval is a technique available for removing intracranial arterial occlusions in acute ischemic stroke (AIS). This rescue therapy can be performed with moderate conscious sedation (CS) or general anesthesia (GA). The effect of GA on clinical outcome in AIS remains controversial. Therefore, we retrospectively investigated whether the use of CS or GA during endovascular intervention for AIS influenced outcomes.
Methods: Patients who underwent emergent endovascular intervention for intracranial arterial occlusion during the years 2006 to 2012 were included in this study. Statistical analysis using the Spearman ρ was performed to examine demographic data and clinical outcomes between patients in the GA and CS groups. Binary logistic regression was used to determine the predictors of mortality.
Results: A total of 109 patients fit the inclusion criteria. Among them, 35 patients had GA and 74 patients had CS. Patients needing intubation upon admission for airway protection were more likely to receive GA (P<0.001). The duration of the procedure and the time-to-revascularization from symptom onset were significantly longer in the GA group. Mortality was higher in the GA group compared with the CS group (40% vs. 22%, P=0.045). Multivariate analysis, controlled for confounding variables, identified GA and elevated postprocedure glucose level to be significant predictors of mortality.
Conclusions: Larger prospectively randomized multicenter trials evaluating the effects of GA and CS on clinical and radiographic outcomes seems warranted.