Methods Data of patients with an anterior circulation occlusion, included in the Dutch nationwide, prospective Multicenter Randomized Clinical Trial of Endovascular Treatment for Acute Ischemic Stroke in the Netherlands (MR CLEAN) Registry between March 2014 and June 2016, were analyzed. Patients were divided into 3 groups defined by anesthetic technique performed during EVT: local anesthesia only (LA), general anesthesia (GA), or conscious sedation (CS). Primary outcome was the modified Rankin Scale score at 90 days. To compare functional outcome between groups, we estimated a common odds ratio (OR) with ordinal logistic regression, adjusted for age, sex, prestroke modified Rankin Scale score, baseline NIH Stroke Scale score, collaterals, and time from onset to arrival at intervention center.
Results A total of 1,376 patients were included. Performed anesthetic technique was LA in 821 (60%), GA in 381 (28%), and CS in 174 (13%) patients. Compared to LA, both GA and CS were associated with worse functional outcome on the modified Rankin Scale score at 90 days (GA cORadj 0.75; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.58–0.97; CS cORadj 0.45; 95% CI 0.33–0.62). CS was associated with worse functional outcome than GA (cORadj 0.60; 95% CI 0.42–0.87).
Conclusions LA is associated with better functional outcome than systemic sedation in patients undergoing EVT for acute ischemic stroke. Whereas LA had a clear advantage over CS, this was less prominent compared to GA.
Classification of evidence This study provides Class III evidence that for patients with acute ischemic stroke undergoing EVT, LA improves functional outcome compared to GA or CS.