Leukoaraiosis and lacunes are associated with poor clinical outcomes in ischemic stroke patients treated with intravenous thrombolysis.
Arba F., Palumbo V., Boulanger JM., Pracucci G., Inzitari D., Buchan AM., Hill MD., CASES Investigators None.
BACKGROUND: The effect of preexisting small vessel disease on outcomes of patients with ischemic stroke treated with i.v. thrombolysis is not fully understood. AIM: We aim to investigate the effect of combined leukoaraiosis and lacunes as detected on unenhanced brain computer tomography at baseline on clinical outcomes after i.v. thrombolysis. METHODS: We analyzed data from the Canadian Alteplase for Stroke Effectiveness Study. Small vessel disease was assessed on baseline computer tomography rating for leukoaraiosis and lacunes. We dichotomized the burden of small vessel disease to "absent or moderate" and "severe." Clinical outcomes at 90 days included excellent outcome (mRS = 0-1), good outcome (mRS = 0-2), and the occurrence of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage. Sensitivity analysis was performed on two age groups (≤80 versus >80). We ran logistic regression adjusting for confounders to evaluate independent effect of small vessel disease on outcomes. RESULTS: There were 820 patients with available brain computer tomography with mean age (±SD) of 71.3 (±13.2), 455 (55.5%) were male. Of these, 123 (15%) patients had severe small vessel disease at baseline. Age group analysis revealed significant associations of small vessel disease only in patients aged ≤80. After adjustment for confounders, presence of severe small vessel disease reduced the chances of both excellent (OR = 0.42, 95% CI = 0.24-0.74) and good outcome (OR = 0.35, 95% CI = 0.21-0.58) and with an increased risk of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage (OR = 5.91; 95% CI = 2.40-14.57). CONCLUSION: When considered together as radiological expressions of small vessel disease, presence and severity of severe leukoaraiosis and lacunes on baseline computer tomography scan are associated with poor clinical outcomes in patients treated with i.v. thrombolysis.