Association of Reperfusion With Brain Edema in Patients With Acute Ischemic Stroke: A Secondary Analysis of the MR CLEAN Trial


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Abstract

ImportanceIt is uncertain whether therapeutic reperfusion with endovascular treatment yields more or less brain edema.ObjectiveTo elucidate the association between reperfusion and brain edema. The secondary objectives were to evaluate whether brain edema could partially be responsible for worse outcomes in patients with later reperfusion or lower Alberta Stroke Program Early Computed Tomography Score.Design, Setting, and ParticipantsThis was a post hoc analysis of the Multicenter Randomized Clinical Trial of Endovascular Treatment for Acute Ischemic Stroke in the Netherlands (MR CLEAN), which was a prospective, randomized, multicenter clinical trial of endovascular treatment compared with conventional care of patients with acute anterior circulation ischemic stroke. Of 502 patients enrolled from December 2010 to June 2014, 2 patients declined to participate. Additionally, exclusion criteria were absence of follow-up imaging or presence of parenchymal hematoma, resulting in 462 patients included in this study. Brain edema was assessed retrospectively, from December 10, 2016, to July 24, 2017, by measuring midline shift (MLS) in all available follow-up scans. Observers were blinded to clinical data.Main Outcomes and MeasuresMidline shift was assessed as present or absent and as a continuous variable. Reperfusion status was assessed by the modified thrombolysis in cerebral infarction score in the endovascular treatment arm. The modified arterial occlusive lesion score was used to evaluate the recanalization status in both arms. The modified Rankin scale score at 90 days was used for functional outcome.ResultsOf 462 patients, the mean (SD) age was 65 (11) years, and 41.8% (n = 193) were women. Successful reperfusion and recanalization were associated with a reduced likelihood of having MLS (adjusted common odds ratio, 0.25; 95% CI, 0.12-0.53; P < .001 and adjusted common odds ratio, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.21-0.55; P < .001, respectively). Midline shift was partially responsible for worse modified Rankin scale scores in patients without reperfusion or recanalization (MLS changed the logistic regression coefficients by 30.3% and 12.6%, respectively). In patients with delayed reperfusion or lower Alberta Stroke Program Early Computed Tomography Score, MLS mediated part of the worse modified Rankin scale scores, corresponding to a change in the regression coefficient of 33.3% and 64.2%, respectively.Conclusions and RelevanceSuccessful reperfusion was associated with reduced MLS. This study identifies an additional benefit of reperfusion in relation to edema, as well as rescuing ischemic brain tissue at risk for infarction.Trial RegistrationNetherlands Trial Registry number: NTR1804 and Current Controlled Trials number: ISRCTN10888758

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