Endovascular Thrombectomy for Anterior Circulation Stroke: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Stroke. 2015 Nov;46(11):3177-83. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.115.009847. Epub 2015 Sep 22.


Background and purpose: Stroke affects ≈700,000 patients annually. Recent randomized controlled trials comparing endovascular thrombectomy (ET) with medical therapy, including intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) with tissue-type plasminogen activator, have shown effectiveness of ET for some stroke patients. The study objective is to evaluate the effect of ET on good outcome in stroke patients.

Methods: We searched PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, SCOPUS, ClinicalTrials.gov, and Cochrane databases to identify original research publications between 1996 and 2015 that (1) reported clinical outcomes in patients for stroke at 90 days with the modified Rankin Scale; (2) included at least 10 patients per group; (3) compared outcome with a control arm, and (4) included anterior circulation strokes in each arm. Two authors reviewed articles for inclusion independently.

Results: Nine of 23 809 studies met inclusion criteria. In primary analysis, ET was associated with increased odds for good outcome (odds ratio [OR], 1.75; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.20-2.54). In secondary analysis, younger patients (OR, 1.85; 95% CI, 1.50-2.28), older patients (OR, 1.93; 95% CI, 1.10-3.37), patients receiving intravenous thrombolysis (OR, 1.83; 95% CI, 1.46-2.31), patients with worse strokes (OR, 2.23; 95% CI, 1.56-3.18), and patients with more moderate strokes (OR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.36-2.18) had increased odds for good outcome. Symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage and mortality were similar between ET and control patients. No evidence of publication bias was seen.

Conclusions: ET improves good outcomes after anterior circulation stroke. ET should be strongly considered for all patients presenting within 6 hours of onset with a stroke affecting a proximal, anterior circulation vessel without a contraindication to ET.

Keywords: intracranial hemorrhage; meta-analysis; review, systematic; stroke; thrombectomy.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Ischemia / complications
  • Brain Ischemia / drug therapy
  • Brain Ischemia / surgery*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Endovascular Procedures / methods
  • Humans
  • Stroke / drug therapy
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Stroke / surgery*
  • Thrombectomy / methods*
  • Thrombolytic Therapy
  • Treatment Outcome