White Matter Acute Infarct Volume After Thrombectomy for Anterior Circulation Large Vessel Occlusion Stroke is Associated with Long Term Outcomes

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2021 Mar;30(3):105567. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2020.105567. Epub 2020 Dec 29.


Objectives: Despite the proven efficacy of endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) for large vessel occlusion stroke, over half treated remain functionally disabled or die. Infarct topography may have implications for prognostication, patient selection, and the development of tissue-specific neuroprotective agents. We sought to quantify white matter injury in anterior circulation acute infarcts post-EVT to understand its significance and identify its determinants.

Materials and methods: Demographics, history, presentations, and outcomes for consecutive patients treated with EVT were recorded in a prospectively maintained database at a single center. Acute infarct masks were coregistered to standard space. Standard atlases of white matter, cortex, and basal ganglia were used to determine region-specific infarct volumes.

Results: 167 individuals were identified with median age 69 years and 53% women. 85% achieved adequate reperfusion (TICI 2b-3) after EVT; 43% achieved 90-day functional independence (mRS 0-2). Median infarct volumes were 45cc (IQR 18-122) for total, 17cc (6-49) for white matter, 21cc (4-53) for cortex, and 5cc (1-8) for basal ganglia. The odds of 90-day mRS 0-2 were reduced in patients with larger white matter infarct volume (cc, OR=0.89, 95%CI=0.81-0.96), independent of cortex infarct volume, basal ganglia infarct volume, age, NIHSS, and TICI 2b-3 reperfusion. Reperfusion-to-MRI time was associated with white matter infarct volume (hr, β=0.119, p=0.017), but not cortical or basal ganglia infarct volume.

Conclusions: These data quantitatively describe region-specific infarct volumes after EVT and suggest the clinical relevance of white matter infarct volume as a predictor of long-term outcomes. Further study is warranted to examine delayed white matter infarction and the significance of specific white matter tracts.

Keywords: Endovascular thrombectomy; Infarct topography; Ischemic stroke; Large vessel occlusion; White matter.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain Infarction / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Infarction / etiology
  • Databases, Factual
  • Endovascular Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ischemic Stroke / diagnostic imaging
  • Ischemic Stroke / therapy*
  • Leukoencephalopathies / diagnostic imaging*
  • Leukoencephalopathies / etiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Thrombectomy / adverse effects*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • White Matter / diagnostic imaging*