Thrombectomy with or without Intravenous Thrombolytics in Basilar Artery Occlusion

Ann Neurol. 2023 Sep;94(3):596-604. doi: 10.1002/ana.26720. Epub 2023 Jun 26.


Objective: Two randomized trials demonstrated the benefit of endovascular therapy (EVT) in patients suffering from a stroke due to a basilar artery occlusion (BAO). However, intravenous thrombolytic (IVT) use before EVT was low in these trials, questioning the added value of this treatment in this setting. We sought to investigate the efficacy and safety of EVT alone compared to IVT + EVT in stroke patients with a BAO.

Methods: We analyzed data from the Endovascular Treatment in Ischemic Stroke registry, a prospective, observational, multicenter study of acute ischemic stroke patients treated with EVT in 21 centers in France between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2021. We included patients with BAO and/or intracranial vertebral artery occlusion and compared patients treated with EVT alone versus IVT + EVT after propensity score (PS) matching. Variables selected for the PS were pre-stroke mRS, dyslipidemia, diabetes, anticoagulation, admission mode, baseline NIHSS and ASPECTS, type of anesthesia, and time from symptom onset to puncture. Efficacy outcomes were good functional outcome (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] 0-3) and functional independence (mRS 0-2) at 90 days. Safety outcomes were symptomatic intracranial hemorrhages and all-cause mortality at 90 days.

Results: Among 385 patients, 243 (134 EVT alone and 109 IVT + EVT) were included after PS matching. There was no difference between EVT alone and IVT + EVT regarding good functional outcome (adjusted odd ratio [aOR] labeling = 1.27, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.68-2.37, p = 0.45) and functional independence (aOR = 1.50, 95% CI, 0.79-2.85, p = 0.21). Symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage and all-cause mortality were also similar between the two groups (aOR = 0.42, 95% CI, 0.10-1.79, p = 0.24 and aOR = 0.56, 95% CI, 0.29-1.10, p = 0.09, respectively).

Interpretation: In this PS matching analysis, EVT alone seemed to lead to similar neurological recovery than IVT + EVT, with comparable safety profile. However, given our sample size and the observational nature of this study, further studies are needed to confirm these findings. ANN NEUROL 2023;94:596-604.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Basilar Artery
  • Brain Ischemia*
  • Endovascular Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / etiology
  • Ischemic Stroke* / etiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Stroke* / drug therapy
  • Stroke* / surgery
  • Thrombectomy / adverse effects
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Fibrinolytic Agents