Sex differences in clot, vessel and tissue characteristics in patients with a large vessel occlusion treated with endovascular thrombectomy

Anne van der Meij*, Ghislaine Holswilder, Marie Louise E. Bernsen, Hendrikus J.A. van Os, Jeannette Hofmeijer, Fianne H.M. Spaander, Jasper M. Martens, Ido R. van den Wijngaard, Hester F. Lingsma, Praneeta R. Konduri, Charles BLM Majoie, Wouter J. Schonewille, Diederik W.J. Dippel, Nyika D. Kruyt, Paul J. Nederkoorn, Marianne A.A. van Walderveen, Marieke J.H. Wermer

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Introduction: To improve our understanding of the relatively poor outcome after endovascular treatment (EVT) in women we assessed possible sex differences in baseline neuroimaging characteristics of acute ischemic stroke patients with large anterior vessel occlusion (LVO). Patients and methods: We included all consecutive patients from the MR CLEAN Registry who underwent EVT between 2014 and 2017. On baseline non-contrast CT and CT angiography, we assessed clot location and clot burden score (CBS), vessel characteristics (presence of atherosclerosis, tortuosity, size, and collateral status), and tissue characteristics with the Alberta Stroke Program Early Computed Tomography Score (ASPECTS). Radiological outcome was assessed with the extended thrombolysis in cerebral infarction score (eTICI) and functional outcome with the modified Rankin Scale score (mRS) at 90 days. Sex-differences were assessed with multivariable regression analyses with adjustments for possible confounders. Results: 3180 patients were included (median age 72 years, 48% women). Clots in women were less often located in the intracranial internal carotid artery (ICA) (25%vs 28%, odds ratio (OR) 0.85;95% confidence interval: 0.73–1.00). CBS was similar between sexes (median 6, IQR 4–8). Intracranial (aOR 0.73;95% CI:0.62–0.87) and extracranial (aOR 0.64;95% CI:0.43–0.95) atherosclerosis was less prevalent in women. Vessel tortuosity was more frequent in women in the cervical ICA (aOR 1.89;95% CI:1.39–2.57) and women more often had severe elongation of the aortic arch (aOR 1.38;95% CI:1.00–1.91). ICA radius was smaller in women (2.3vs 2.5 mm, mean difference 0.22;95% CI:0.09–0.35) while M1 radius was essentially equal (1.6vs 1.7 mm, mean difference 0.09;95% CI:−0.02–0.21). Women had better collateral status (⩾50% filling in 62%vs 53% in men, aOR 1.48;95% CI:1.29–1.70). Finally, ASPECT scores were equal between women and men (median 9 in both sexes, IQR 8–10vs 9–10). Reperfusion rates were similar between women and men (acOR 0.94;95% CI:0.83–1.07). However, women less often reached functional independence than men (34%vs 46%, aOR 0.68;95% CI:0.53–0.86). Discussion and conclusion: On baseline imaging of this Dutch Registry, men and women with LVO mainly differ in vessel characteristics such as atherosclerotic burden, extracranial vessel tortuosity, and collateral status. These sex differences do not result in different reperfusion rates and are, therefore, not likely to explain the worse functional outcome in women after EVT.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean stroke journal
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 29 Feb 2024

Keywords

  • endovascular treatment
  • ischemic stroke
  • large vessel occlusion
  • neuroimaging
  • Sex differences

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