Background: The interplay between collateral status and stroke aetiology may be crucial in the evaluation and management of acute ischemic stroke (AIS). Our understanding of this relationship and its level of association remains sub-optimal. This study sought to examine the association of pre-intervention collateral status with stroke aetiology, specifically large artery atherosclerosis (LAA) and cardio-embolism (CE), in AIS patients receiving reperfusion therapy, by performing a meta-analysis.
Methods: Relevant search terms were explored on Medline/PubMed, Embase and Cochrane databases. Studies were included using the following inclusion criteria: (a) patients aged 18 or above; (b) AIS patients; (c) patients receiving reperfusion therapy; (d) total cohort size of >20, and (e) qualitative or quantitative assessment of pre-intervention collateral status on imaging using a grading scale. Random-effects meta-analysis was performed to investigate the association of aetiology with pre-intervention collateral status, and forest plots of risk ratio (RR) were generated.
Results: A meta-analysis was conducted on seven studies, with a cumulative cohort of 1235 patients, to assess the association of pre-intervention collateral status with stroke aetiology. Patients with LAA were associated significantly with an increased rate of good collaterals (RR 1.24; 95% CI 1.04-1.50; p = 0.020, z = 2.33). Contrarily, CE aetiology was associated significantly with a decreased rate of good collaterals (RR 0.83; 95% CI 0.71-0.98; p = 0.027, z = -2.213).
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that, in AIS patients receiving reperfusion therapy, LAA and CE aetiologies are associated significantly with collateral status.
Keywords: aetiology; cardiovascular disease; cerebrovascular disease; collaterals; neuroimaging; reperfusion therapy; stroke.