Intra-arterial treatment for acute ischemic stroke: a meta-analysis
Objective: To assess the potential benefit of treating patients with acute ischemic stroke using intra-arterial methods.
Methods: A meta-analysis of published randomized controlled trials that compared standard therapy with intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IVtPA) for thrombolysis to intra-arterial therapies in patients with acute stroke was performed. All studies reported were analyzed as one group and studies documenting patients with large vessel obstruction were analyzed as a second group. The standardized mean difference (SMD) and the odds ratio (OR) of the dichotomized outcomes of Modified Rankin Scale (mRS) of these trials was calculated.
Results: Nine trials were identified with 2,711 patients treated. Meta-analysis of all studies, with and without large vessel obstruction documented, showed a significant benefit with intra-arterial therapy (SMD: 0.22 + 0.041; P=0.003). The dichotomized outcomes of mRS of these trials showed significant improvement (OR: 1.66 -2.43 in four of the five treatment arm groups examined). Meta-analysis of all publications with large vessel obstruction documented as an entry criteria showed a greater significant benefit with intra-arterial therapy (SMD: 0.35 + 0.05; P<0.001). The dichotomized outcomes of mRS of these trials showed significant improvement (OR: 1.36 -2.38 in all five treatment arm groups examined). Some heterogeneity was observed between studies.
Conclusion: Treatment of patients with acute ischemic stroke was associated with improved outcomes as measured by mRS. Patient selection, standard treatment, and study treatment factors contributed to the statistical evaluation of inter study heterogeneity and may have contributed to different study outcomes.
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