Real-World Outcomes for Basilar Artery Occlusion Thrombectomy With Mild Deficits: The National Inpatient Sample

Stroke. 2023 Aug;54(8):2031-2039. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.123.043487. Epub 2023 Jun 23.


Background: Thrombectomy for basilar artery occlusion (BAO) has proven efficacy in patients with moderate-to-severe deficits, but has unclear benefits for those with mild symptoms.

Methods: Using an observational cohort design, the US National Inpatient Sample (2018-2020) was queried for adult patients with basilar artery occlusion and National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) <10 for patients treated with thrombectomy versus medical management. The primary outcome of routine discharge (to home or self-care) was evaluated using multivariable logistic regression and propensity score matching, adjusted for baseline characteristics, stroke severity, and treatment with thrombolysis.

Results: Of 17 019 with basilar artery occlusion, 5795 patients met the criteria for inclusion criteria for our study, and 880 (15.4%) were treated with endovascular thrombectomy. In the propensity score-matched cohort, 880 patients were treated with medical management and endovascular thrombectomy, respectively. In multivariable regression, endovascular thrombectomy was associated with both an increased odds of routine discharge (odds ratio, 1.95 [95% CI, 1.31-2.90]; P=0.001) and a decreased length of hospital stay (B, -0.74 [95% CI, -1.36 to -0.11]; P=0.02) compared with medical management. In the propensity score matched cohort, endovascular thrombectomy remained associated with greater odds of routine discharge (2.01 [95% CI, 1.21-3.34]; P=0.007) but no difference in length of hospital stay (B, -0.22 [95% CI, -0.90 to 0.46]; P=0.53).

Conclusions: Routine discharge was more common in this representative US cohort of patients with basilar artery occlusion and National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale <10 who underwent thrombectomy compared to conventional medical management. These findings suggest thrombectomy may be associated with better functional outcomes despite lower National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale and should be validated in a clinical trial setting.

Keywords: basilar artery; propensity score; thrombectomy.

Publication types

  • Retracted Publication

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases* / surgery
  • Basilar Artery
  • Endovascular Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Inpatients
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stroke* / diagnosis
  • Stroke* / surgery
  • Thrombectomy / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome