[The efficacy of intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) is moderate in the proximal vascular segments of intracranial arteries, as opposed to mechanical thrombectomy (MT). In the management of acute ischemic stroke (AIS) caused by large vessel occlusions (LVO), IVT prior to MT is highly recommended based on the latest guidelines, but the necessity of IVT has been questioned by the latest studies of the past years. The aim of our study was to investigate and compare the efficacy and safety of direct mechanical thrombectomy (dMT) and combined therapy (CT) for patients who suffered an AIS with LVO and were treated in our department. We investigated patients with AIS caused by LVO who were admitted up to 4.5 hours after symptom onset and underwent MT in our department between November 2017 and August 2019. Patients’ data were collected in our stroke register. Patients enrolled in our study were divided into two groups depending on whether dMT or CT was used. Our primary outcome was the 30- and 90- day functional outcome measured by modified Rankin Scale (mRS). Mortality at 30- and 90- day, successful recanalization rates, and symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage were considered as secondary outcomes. A total of 142 patients (age: 68.3 ± 12.6 years, 53.5% female) were enrolled in our study, including 81 (57.0%) dMT cases, and 61 (43.0%) patients who received CT. The vascular risk factors and comorbidities were significantly higher in the dMT-treated group. At day 30, the rate of favorable functional outcomes was 34.7% in dMT vs. 43.6% among those who received CT (p = 0.307),
by day 90 this ratio changed to 40.8% vs. 46.3% (p = 0.542). Mortality rates at day 30 were 22.2% and 23.6% (p = 0.851), and at day 90 33.8% and 25.9% (p = 0.343). The rate of effective recanalization was 94.2% for dMT-treated patients and 98.0% for CT-treated patients (p = 0.318). Symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage was detected in 2.5% of dMT-treated patients and 3.4% of CT-treated group (p = 0.757). Our results suggest that CT is associated with a moderately better outcome compared to dMT.
IVT prior to MT did not increase the risk of symptomatic intracranial hemorrhages.]