International controlled study of revascularization and outcomes following COVID-positive mechanical thrombectomy

Eur J Neurol. 2022 Nov;29(11):3273-3287. doi: 10.1111/ene.15493. Epub 2022 Jul 26.


Background and purpose: Previous studies suggest that mechanisms and outcomes in patients with COVID-19-associated stroke differ from those in patients with non-COVID-19-associated strokes, but there is limited comparative evidence focusing on these populations. The aim of this study, therefore, was to determine if a significant association exists between COVID-19 status with revascularization and functional outcomes following thrombectomy for large vessel occlusion (LVO), after adjustment for potential confounding factors.

Methods: A cross-sectional, international multicenter retrospective study was conducted in consecutively admitted COVID-19 patients with concomitant acute LVO, compared to a control group without COVID-19. Data collected included age, gender, comorbidities, clinical characteristics, details of the involved vessels, procedural technique, and various outcomes. A multivariable-adjusted analysis was conducted.

Results: In this cohort of 697 patients with acute LVO, 302 had COVID-19 while 395 patients did not. There was a significant difference (p < 0.001) in the mean age (in years) and gender of patients, with younger patients and more males in the COVID-19 group. In terms of favorable revascularization (modified Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction [mTICI] grade 3), COVID-19 was associated with lower odds of complete revascularization (odds ratio 0.33, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.23-0.48; p < 0.001), which persisted on multivariable modeling with adjustment for other predictors (adjusted odds ratio 0.30, 95% CI 0.12-0.77; p = 0.012). Moreover, endovascular complications, in-hospital mortality, and length of hospital stay were significantly higher among COVID-19 patients (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: COVID-19 was an independent predictor of incomplete revascularization and poor functional outcome in patients with stroke due to LVO. Furthermore, COVID-19 patients with LVO were more often younger and had higher morbidity/mortality rates.

Keywords: COVID-19; large vessel occlusion; morbidity; mortality; stroke.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Brain Ischemia*
  • COVID-19* / complications
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Endovascular Procedures* / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stroke* / surgery
  • Thrombectomy / methods
  • Treatment Outcome