Posttreatment Ischemic Lesion Evolution Is Associated With Reduced Favorable Functional Outcome in Patients With Stroke

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Ischemic lesion volume can increase even 24 hours after onset of an acute ischemic stroke. In this study, we investigated the association of lesion evolution with functional outcome and the influence of successful recanalization on this association. METHODS We included patients from the MR CLEAN trial (Multicenter Randomized Clinical Trial of Endovascular Treatment for Acute Ischemic Stroke in the Netherlands) who received good quality noncontrast CT images 24 hours and 1 week after stroke onset. The ischemic lesion delineations included infarct, edema, and hemorrhagic transformation. Lesion evolution was defined as the difference between the volumes measured on the 1-week and 24-hour noncontrast CTs. The association of lesion evolution with functional outcome was evaluated using unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression. Adjustments were made for baseline, clinical, and imaging parameters that were associated P<0.10) in univariate analysis with favorable functional outcome, defined as modified Rankin Scale score of ≤2. Interaction analysis was performed to evaluate the influence of successful recanalization, defined as modified Arterial Occlusion Lesion score of 3 points, on this association. RESULTS Of the 226 patients who were included, 69 (31%) patients achieved the favorable functional outcome. Median lesion evolution was 22 (interquartile range, 10-45) mL. Lesion evolution was significantly inversely correlated with favourable functional outcome: unadjusted odds ratio, 0.76 (95% CI, 0.66-0.86; per 10 mL of lesion evolution; P<0.01) and adjusted odds ratio: 0.85 (95% CI, 0.72-0.97; per 10 mL of lesion evolution; P =0.03). There was no significant interaction of successful recanalization on the association of lesion evolution and favorable functional outcome (odds ratio, 1.01 [95% CI, 0.77-1.36]; P =0.94). CONCLUSIONS In our population, subacute ischemic lesion evolution is associated with unfavorable functional outcome. This study suggests that even 24 hours after onset of stroke, deterioration of the brain continues, which has a negative effect on functional outcome. This finding may warrant additional treatment in the subacute phase.
as reported in: Stroke. 2021 Jul 22 STROKEAHA120032331 [Epub ahead of print]