Objective: In this multicenter study, we sought to evaluate comparative safety and efficacy of combined IV thrombolysis (IVT) and mechanical thrombectomy (MT) vs direct MT in emergent large vessel occlusion (ELVO) patients.
Methods: Consecutive ELVO patients treated with MT at 6 high-volume endovascular centers were evaluated. Standard safety and efficacy outcomes (successful reperfusion [modified Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction IIb/III], functional independence [FI] [modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score of 0-2 at 3 months], favorable functional outcome [mRS of 0-1 at 3 months], functional improvement [mRS shift by 1-point decrease in mRS score]) were compared between patients who underwent combined IVT and MT vs MT alone. Additional propensity score-matched analyses were performed.
Results: A total of 292 and 277 patients were treated with combination therapy and direct MT, respectively. The combination therapy group had greater functional improvement (p = 0.037) at 3 months. After propensity score matching, 104 patients in the direct MT group were matched to 208 patients in the combination therapy group. IVT pretreatment was independently (p < 0.05) associated with higher odds of FI (odds ratio [OR] 1.75; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02-2.99) and functional improvement (common OR 1.64; 95% CI 1.05-2.56). Combination therapy was independently (p < 0.05) related to lower likelihood of 3-month mortality (0.50; 95% CI 0.26-0.96).
Conclusions: This observational study provides preliminary evidence that IVT pretreatment may improve outcomes in ELVO patients treated with MT. The question of the potential effect of IVT on ELVO patients treated with MT should be addressed with a randomized controlled trial.
Classification of evidence: This study provides Class III evidence that for stroke patients with emergent large vessel occlusion, combined IVT and MT is superior to direct MT in improving functional outcomes.
© 2018 American Academy of Neurology.