Background and Purpose:
Although endovascular treatment (EVT) for acute ischemic stroke is classified as I evidence, outcomes after EVT in real-world practice appear to be less superior than those in randomized clinical trials (RCT). Additionally, the effect of EVT is unclear compared with medical treatment (MT) for patients with mild symptoms defined by National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score <6 or with severe symptoms defined by Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score <6.
Literatures were searched in big databases and major meetings from December 6, 2009, to December 6, 2019, including RCTs and observational studies comparing EVT against MT for patients with acute ischemic stroke. Observational studies were precategorized into 3 groups based on imaging data on admission: mild stroke group with National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score <6, severe stroke group with Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score <6 or ischemic core ≥50 mL, and normal stroke group for all others. Outcome was measured as modified Rankin Scale score of 0 to 2, mortality at 90 days, and symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (sICH) at 24 hours.
Fifteen RCTs (n=3694) and 37 observational studies (n=9090) were included. EVT was associated with higher modified Rankin Scale 0 to 2 rate and lower mortality in RCTs and normal stroke group, whereas EVT was associated with higher sICH rate in normal stroke group, and no difference of sICH rate appeared between EVT and MT in RCTs. In severe stroke group, EVT was associated with higher modified Rankin Scale 0 to 2 rate and lower mortality, whereas no difference of sICH rate was found. In mild stroke group, there was no difference in modified Rankin Scale 0 to 2 rate between EVT and MT, whereas EVT was associated with higher mortality and sICH rate.
Evidence from RCTs and observational studies supports the use of EVT as the first-line choice for eligible patients corresponding to the latest guideline. For patients with Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score <6, EVT showed superiority over MT, also in line with the guidelines. On the contrary to the guideline, our data do not support EVT for patients with National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score <6.
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