Anesthetic Management and Outcomes of Endovascular Treatment of Basilar Artery Occlusion: Results From the ATTENTION Registry

J Stroke. 2023 Sep;25(3):399-408. doi: 10.5853/jos.2023.00318. Epub 2023 Aug 23.


Background and purpose: To examine the clinical and safety outcomes after endovascular treatment (EVT) for acute basilar artery occlusion (BAO) with different anesthetic modalities.

Methods: This was a retrospective analysis using data from the Endovascular Treatment for Acute Basilar Artery Occlusion (ATTENTION) registry. Patients were divided into two groups defined by anesthetic modality performed during EVT: general anesthesia (GA) or non-general anesthesia (non-GA). The association between anesthetic management and clinical outcomes was evaluated in a propensity score matched (PSM) cohort and an inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) cohort to adjust for imbalances between the two groups.

Results: Our analytic sample included 1,672 patients from 48 centers. The anesthetic modality was GA in 769 (46.0%) and non-GA in 903 (54.0%) patients. In our primary analysis with the PSM-based cohort, non-GA was comparable to GA concerning the primary outcome (adjusted common odds ratio [acOR], 1.01; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.82 to 1.25; P=0.91). Mortality at 90 days was 38.4% in the GA group and 35.8% in the non-GA group (adjusted risk ratio, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.83 to 1.08; P=0.44). In our secondary analysis with the IPTW-based cohort, the anesthetic modality was significantly associated with the distribution of modified Rankin Scale at 90 days (acOR: 1.45 [95% CI: 1.20 to 1.75]).

Conclusion: In this nationally-representative observational study, acute ischemic stroke patients due to BAO undergoing EVT without GA had similar clinical and safety outcomes compared with patients treated with GA. These findings provide the basis for large-scale randomized controlled trials to test whether anesthetic management provides meaningful clinical effects for patients undergoing EVT.

Keywords: Anesthetic management; Basilar artery occlusion; Endovascular treatment; Stroke.