June 21, 2021

Background: Acute basilary artery occlusion has a high morbidity and mortality.  Treatment strategies for acute basilar artery occlusion are rather sparse.  Endovascular research over the last 5 years (REBEL EM Post) adds little to the conversation of these strokes as very few patients with basilar artery strokes were included. The Basilar Artery International Cooperation Study (BASICS) was a prospective observational registry in which ≈600 patients were divided into three groups: antithrombic treatment only (antiplatelet drugs or systemic anticoagulation), primary intravenous thrombolysis (including subsequent intra-arterial thrombolysis), or intra-arterial therapy (which compromised thrombolysis, mechanical thrombectomy, stenting, or a combination of these approaches) [2].  The majority of patients (68%) received intra-arterial therapy, but the study showed no statistically significant superiority for any treatment strategy.  In a subgroup analysis of the BASICS registry, patients with the most severe neurologic deficits (NIHSS >19) showed a trend toward lower risk of a poor neurologic outcome with endovascular therapy. Clearly, additional data is needed to elucidate the role of endovascular treatment in basilar artery strokes.

March 18, 2021

Background: The publication of the MR CLEAN trial in January 2015 changed the face of ischemic stroke care. This was the first study demonstrating a benefit to endovascular treatment of a specific subset of ischemic stroke patients: those with a large vessel occlusion (LVO) presenting within 6 hours of symptom onset. MR CLEAN was followed by a flurry of publications seeking to replicate and refine treatment as well as expand the window for treatment. The REBEL EM team reviewed this literature back in 2018 and, with the help of Dr. Evie Marcolini, created a workflow (see CVA Workflow below).

One major component of LVO management is the use of systemic thrombolytics in patients presenting within the current thrombolytic treatment window prior to endovascular intervention. However, it’s unclear if systemic thrombolytic administration results in better outcomes or if it simply exposes the patient to increased risks at a higher cost. Limited evidence questions the utility of the current approach with lytics + endovascular therapy (Phan 2017, Rai 2018).  In 2020, we reviewed an article by Yang and colleagues that demonstrated non-inferiority to an endovascular intervention only approach (with a 20% non-inferiority lower limit) (REBEL EM). Recently, two more studies have been published on this topic.

March 23, 2020

Background: The publication of the MR CLEAN trial in January 2015 changed the face of ischemic stroke care. This was the first study demonstrating a benefit to endovascular treatment of a specific subset of ischemic stroke patients: those with a large vessel occlusion (LVO) presenting within 6 hours of symptom onset. MR CLEAN was followed by a flurry of publications seeking to replicate and refine treatment as well as expand the window for treatment. The REBEL team reviewed this literature back in 2018 and, with the help of Dr. Evie Marcolini, created the below workflow:

December 18, 2019

Take Home Points

  • Important as front line providers to know research and data behind stroke care
  • Patients eligible for endovascular care are those with large vessel occlusion in the anterior circulation - anterior cerebral artery, middle cerebral artery, distal intracranial carotid artery and they have to have perfusion mismatch (small infarcted core with a large penumbra).
 

April 11, 2019

The shiny new toy in stroke treatment is endovascular therapy.  There have now been 12 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on endovascular stroke therapy (EST), with eight of the last nine showing positive results – stunningly positive.  This flood of positive trials has led to new guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Stroke Association (ASA)that extend the treatment window potentially as far out as 24 hours after last known well, and has spawned a movement to completely overhaul how we deliver care for patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS). With all of the enthusiasm for EST, it is important to review the evolution of this new approach, to review and critique the evidence, and to evaluate what this means in clinical practice.

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