The effect of anesthetic management during intra-arterial therapy for acute stroke in MR CLEAN

Neurology. 2016 Aug 16;87(7):656-64. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000002976. Epub 2016 Jul 15.


Background: The aim of the current study was to assess the influence of anesthetic management on the effect of treatment in the Multicenter Randomized Clinical Trial of Endovascular Treatment for Acute Ischemic Stroke in the Netherlands (MR CLEAN).

Methods: MR CLEAN was a multicenter, randomized, open-label trial of intra-arterial therapy (IAT) vs no IAT. The intended anesthetic management at the start of the procedure was used for this post hoc analysis. The primary effect parameter was the adjusted common odds ratio (acOR) for a shift in direction of a better outcome on the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) at 90 days, estimated with multivariable ordinal logistic regression analysis, which included a term for general anesthesia (GA).

Results: GA was associated with significant (p = 0.011) effect modification, resulting in estimated decrease of 51% (95% confidence interval [CI] 31%-86%) in treatment effect compared to non-GA. We found a shift in the distribution on the mRS in favor of non-GA compared to control group (acOR 2.18 [95% CI 1.49-3.20]). The shift in distribution between GA and control group was in a similar direction (acOR 1.12 [95% CI 0.71-1.78]) with loss of statistical significance.

Conclusions: In this post hoc analysis, we found that the type of anesthetic management influences outcome following IAT. Only treatment without general anesthesia was associated with a significant treatment benefit in MR CLEAN.

Classification of evidence: This study provides Class II evidence that for patients with acute ischemic stroke undergoing IAT, mRS scores at 90 days improve only in patients treated without GA.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aftercare
  • Aged
  • Anesthesia, General / methods*
  • Brain Ischemia / therapy*
  • Endovascular Procedures / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Stroke / therapy*