Agnetha A. E. Bruggeman, Manon Kappelhof, Nerea Arrarte Terreros, Manon L. Tolhuisen, Praneeta R. Konduri, Nikki Boodt, Heleen M. M. van Beusekom, Hajo M. Hund, Aladdin Taha, Aad van der Lugt, Yvo B. W. E. M. Roos, Adriaan C. G. M. van Es, Wim H. van Zwam, Alida A. Postma, Diederik W. J. Dippel, Hester F. Lingsma, Henk A. Marquering, Bart J. Emmer, Charles B. L. M. Majoie, and on behalf of the MR CLEAN Registry Investigators
Calcified cerebral emboli (CCE) are a rare cause of acute ischemic stroke. The authors aimed to assess the association of CCE with functional outcome, successful reperfusion, and mortality. Furthermore, they aimed to assess the effectiveness of intravenous alteplase treatment and endovascular treatment (EVT), as well as the best first-line EVT approach in patients with CCE.
The Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial of Endovascular Treatment for Acute Ischemic Stroke in the Netherlands (MR CLEAN) Registry is a prospective, observational multicenter registry of patients treated with EVT for acute ischemic stroke in 16 intervention hospitals in the Netherlands. The association of CCE with functional outcome, reperfusion, and mortality was evaluated using logistic regression models. Univariable comparisons were made to determine the effectiveness of intravenous alteplase treatment and the best first-line EVT approach in CCE patients.
The study included 3077 patients from the MR CLEAN Registry. Fifty-five patients (1.8%) had CCE. CCE were not significantly associated with worse functional outcome (adjusted common OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.44–1.15), and 29% of CCE patients achieved functional independence. An extended Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction score ≥ 2B was significantly less often achieved in CCE patients compared to non-CCE patients (adjusted OR [aOR] 0.52, 95% CI 0.28–0.97). Symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage occurred in 8 CCE patients (15%) vs 171 of 3022 non-CCE patients (6%; p = 0.01). The median improvement on the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) was 2 in CCE patients versus 4 in non-CCE patients (p = 0.008). CCE were not significantly associated with mortality (aOR 1.16, 95% CI 0.64–2.12). Intravenous alteplase use in CCE patients was not associated with functional outcome or reperfusion. In CCE patients with successful reperfusion, stent retrievers were more often used as the primary treatment device (p = 0.04).
While patients with CCE had significantly lower reperfusion rates and less improvement on the NIHSS after EVT, CCE were not significantly associated with worse functional outcome or higher mortality rates. Therefore, EVT should still be considered in this specific group of patients.
Simone A. Dijkland, Blessing N. R. Jaja, Mathieu van der Jagt, Bob Roozenbeek, Mervyn D. I. Vergouwen, Jose I. Suarez, James C. Torner, Michael M. Todd, Walter M. van den Bergh, Gustavo Saposnik, Daniel W. Zumofen, Michael D. Cusimano, Stephan A. Mayer, Benjamin W. Y. Lo, Ewout W. Steyerberg, Diederik W. J. Dippel, Tom A. Schweizer, R. Loch Macdonald, and Hester F. Lingsma
Differences in clinical outcomes between centers and countries may reflect variation in patient characteristics, diagnostic and therapeutic policies, or quality of care. The purpose of this study was to investigate the presence and magnitude of between-center and between-country differences in outcome after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH).
The authors analyzed data from 5972 aSAH patients enrolled in randomized clinical trials of 3 different treatments from the Subarachnoid Hemorrhage International Trialists (SAHIT) repository, including data from 179 centers and 20 countries. They used random effects logistic regression adjusted for patient characteristics and timing of aneurysm treatment to estimate between-center and between-country differences in unfavorable outcome, defined as a Glasgow Outcome Scale score of 1–3 (severe disability, vegetative state, or death) or modified Rankin Scale score of 4–6 (moderately severe disability, severe disability, or death) at 3 months. Between-center and between-country differences were quantified with the median odds ratio (MOR), which can be interpreted as the ratio of odds of unfavorable outcome between a typical high-risk and a typical low-risk center or country.
The proportion of patients with unfavorable outcome was 27% (n = 1599). The authors found substantial between-center differences (MOR 1.26, 95% CI 1.16–1.52), which could not be explained by patient characteristics and timing of aneurysm treatment (adjusted MOR 1.21, 95% CI 1.11–1.44). They observed no between-country differences (adjusted MOR 1.13, 95% CI 1.00–1.40).
Clinical outcomes after aSAH differ between centers. These differences could not be explained by patient characteristics or timing of aneurysm treatment. Further research is needed to confirm the presence of differences in outcome after aSAH between hospitals in more recent data and to investigate potential causes.