Bridging therapy is associated with improved cognitive function after large vessel occlusion stroke - an analysis of the German Stroke Registry

Neurol Res Pract. 2020 Jul 27;2:29. doi: 10.1186/s42466-020-00079-9. eCollection 2020.


Background: The targeted use of endovascular therapy (EVT), with or without intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) in acute large cerebral vessel occlusion stroke (LVOS) has been proven to be superior compared to IVT alone. Despite favorable functional outcome, many patients complain about cognitive decline after EVT. If IVT in addition to EVT has positive effects on cognitive function is unclear.

Methods: We analyzed data from the German Stroke Registry (GSR, an open, multicenter and prospective observational study) and compared cognitive function 90 days after index ischemic stroke using MoCA in patients with independent (mRS ≤ 2 pts) and excellent (mRS = 0 pts) functional outcome receiving combined EVT and IVT (EVT + IVT) vs. EVT alone (EVT-IVT).

Results: Of the 2636 GSR patients, we included 166 patients with mRS ≤ 2 at 90 days in our analysis. Of these, 103 patients (62%) received EVT + IVT, 63 patients (38%) were treated with EVT alone. There was no difference in reperfusion status between groups (mTICI ≥ 2b in both groups at 95%, p = 0.65). Median MoCA score in the EVT + IVT group was 20 pts. (18-25 IQR) vs. 18 pts. (16-21 IQR) in the EVT-IVT group (p = 0.014). There were more patients with cognitive impairment (defined as MoCA < 26 pts) in the EVT-IVT group (54 patients (86%)) compared to the EVT + IVT group (78 patients (76%)). EVT + IVT was associated with a higher MoCA score at 90 days (mRS ≤ 2: p = 0.033, B = 2.39; mRS = 0: p = 0.021, B = 4.38).

Conclusions: In Patients with good functional outcome after LVOS, rates of cognitive impairment are lower with combined EVT and IVT compared to EVT alone.

Trial registration: Identifier: NCT03356392.

Keywords: Cognitive function; Intravenous thrombolysis; Ischemic stroke; LVOS; Mechanical thrombectomy.

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