Discrepancy between post-treatment infarct volume and 90-day outcome in the ESCAPE randomized controlled trial

Int J Stroke. 2021 Jul;16(5):593-601. doi: 10.1177/1747493020929943. Epub 2020 Jun 9.


Background: Some patients with ischemic stroke have poor outcomes despite small infarcts after endovascular thrombectomy, while others with large infarcts sometimes fare better.

Aims: We explored factors associated with such discrepancies between post-treatment infarct volume (PIV) and functional outcome.

Methods: We identified patients with small PIV (volume ≤ 25th percentile) and large PIV (volume ≥ 75th percentile) on 24-48-h CT/MRI in the ESCAPE randomized-controlled trial. Demographics, comorbidities, baseline, and 24-48-h stroke severity (NIHSS), stroke location, treatment type, post-stroke complications, and other outcome scales like Barthel Index, and EQ-5D were compared between "discrepant cases" - those with 90-day modified Rankin Scale(mRS) ≤ 2 despite large PIV or mRS ≥ 3 despite small PIV - and "non-discrepant cases". Multi-variable logistic regression was used to identify pre-treatment and post-treatment factors associated with small-PIV/mRS ≥ 3 and large-PIV/mRS ≤ 2. Sensitivity analyses used different definitions of small/large PIV and good/poor outcome.

Results: Among 315 patients, median PIV was 21 mL; 27/79 (34.2%) patients with PIV ≤ 7 mL (25th percentile) had mRS ≥ 3; 12/80 (15.0%) with PIV ≥ 72 mL (75th percentile) had mRS ≤ 2. Discrepant cases did not differ by CT versus MRI-based PIV ascertainment, or right versus left-hemisphere involvement (p = 0.39, p = 0.81, respectively, for PIV ≤ 7 mL/mRS ≥ 3). Pre-treatment factors independently associated with small-PIV/mRS ≥ 3 included older age (p = 0.010), cancer, and vascular risk-factors; post-treatment factors included 48-h NIHSS (p = 0.007) and post-stroke complications (p = 0.026). Absence of vascular risk-factors (p = 0.004), CT-based lentiform nucleus sparing (p = 0.002), lower 24-hour NIHSS (p = 0.001), and absence of complications (p = 0.013) were associated with large-PIV/mRS ≤ 2. Sensitivity analyses yielded similar results.

Conclusions: Discrepancies between functional ability and PIV are likely explained by differences in age, comorbidities, and post-stroke complications, emphasizing the need for high-quality post-thrombectomy stroke care.

Clinical trial registration: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01778335.

Keywords: Cerebrovascular disease/stroke; endovascular treatment; functional outcome; infarct size; modified Rankin Scale; post-stroke complications.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain Ischemia* / complications
  • Brain Ischemia* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Infarction
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke* / diagnostic imaging
  • Stroke* / therapy
  • Thrombectomy
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01778335