Endovascular Thrombectomy in the Elderly: Do Radiological and Clinical Outcomes Differ from Those in Younger Patients? A Prospective Single-Center Experience

Cerebrovasc Dis. 2019;47(1-2):65-71. doi: 10.1159/000497315. Epub 2019 Feb 26.


Objectives: Endovascular treatment (EVT) has emerged as the gold standard therapy for stroke due to large vessel occlusion (LVO). There is however limited evidence to suggest that similar efficacy can be expected in elderly patients. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of EVT in elderly patients (aged > 80), comparing outcomes to younger patients (aged < 80).

Material and methods: A total of 195 patients with LVO stroke treated with EVT were included and dichotomized by age. We compared neurological improvement, clinical 90 day outcome, technical recanalization rates, procedure-related complications, and mortality in between the groups.

Results: Both groups showed equally marked neurological improvement. A favorable outcome modified Rankin Scale (mRS < 2) was seen in 28% of the elderly patients compared to 46% of the younger patients (p = 0.01). mRS 0-3 was seen in 46% of the elderly patients and 58% of the younger patients (p = 0.09). The rates of successful technical recanalization did not differ between the groups and there were no differences in procedural complication rates or incidence of symptomatic intracranial bleeding. Three-month mortality rates were however higher in the elderly group.

Conclusions: EVT in the elderly resulted in equally notable neurological improvement as compared to younger patients. Although the elderly had a higher mortality rate and fewer favorable clinical outcomes at 3 month follow-up, a strict upper age limit for EVT seems unjustified.

Keywords: Elderly; Endovascular treatment; Prognosis; Stroke.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Ischemia / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Ischemia / mortality
  • Brain Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Brain Ischemia / surgery*
  • Endovascular Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Endovascular Procedures* / mortality
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Patient Selection
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recovery of Function
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging
  • Stroke / mortality
  • Stroke / physiopathology
  • Stroke / surgery*
  • Thrombectomy / adverse effects
  • Thrombectomy / methods*
  • Thrombectomy / mortality
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome