Background and objectives: The effect of anesthesia choice on endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) outcomes is unclear. Collateral status on perfusion imaging may help identify the optimal anesthesia choice.
Methods: In a pooled patient-level analysis of EXTEND-IA, EXTEND-IA TNK, EXTEND-IA TNK part II, and SELECT, EVT functional outcomes (modified Rankin Scale score distribution) were compared between general anesthesia (GA) vs non-GA in a propensity-matched sample. Furthermore, we evaluated the association of collateral flow on perfusion imaging, assessed by hypoperfusion intensity ratio (HIR) - Tmax > 10 seconds/Tmax > 6 seconds (good collaterals - HIR < 0.4, poor collaterals - HIR ≥ 0.4) on the association between anesthesia type and EVT outcomes.
Results: Of 725 treated with EVT, 299 (41%) received GA and 426 (59%) non-GA. The baseline characteristics differed in presentation National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score (median [interquartile range] GA: 18 [13-22], non-GA: 16 [11-20], p < 0.001) and ischemic core volume (GA: 15.0 mL [3.2-38.0] vs non-GA: 9.0 mL [0.0-31.0], p < 0.001). In addition, GA was associated with longer last known well to arterial access (203 minutes [157-267] vs 186 minutes [138-252], p = 0.002), but similar procedural time (35.5 minutes [23-59] vs 34 minutes [22-54], p = 0.51). Of 182 matched pairs using propensity scores, baseline characteristics were similar. In the propensity score-matched pairs, GA was independently associated with worse functional outcomes (adjusted common odds ratio [adj. cOR]: 0.64, 95% CI: 0.44-0.93, p = 0.021) and higher neurologic worsening (GA: 14.9% vs non-GA: 8.9%, aOR: 2.10, 95% CI: 1.02-4.33, p = 0.045). Patients with poor collaterals had worse functional outcomes with GA (adj. cOR: 0.47, 95% CI: 0.29-0.76, p = 0.002), whereas no difference was observed in those with good collaterals (adj. cOR: 0.93, 95% CI: 0.50-1.74, p = 0.82), p interaction: 0.07. No difference was observed in infarct growth overall and in patients with good collaterals, whereas patients with poor collaterals demonstrated larger infarct growth with GA with a significant interaction between collaterals and anesthesia type on infarct growth rate (p interaction: 0.020).
Discussion: GA was associated with worse functional outcomes after EVT, particularly in patients with poor collaterals in a propensity score-matched analysis from a pooled patient-level cohort from 3 randomized trials and 1 prospective cohort study. The confounding by indication may persist despite the doubly robust nature of the analysis. These findings have implications for randomized trials of GA vs non-GA and may be of utility for clinicians when making anesthesia type choice.
Classification of evidence: This study provides Class III evidence that use of GA is associated with worse functional outcome in patients undergoing EVT.
Trial registration information: EXTEND-IA: ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01492725); EXTEND-IA TNK: ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02388061); EXTEND-IA TNK part II: ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT03340493); and SELECT: ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02446587).
© 2022 American Academy of Neurology.