Conference Coverage

Does endovascular therapy benefit strokes with larger ischemic cores?



Risk/benefit trade-off

Commenting on the trade-off between benefits and risks in the study, Dr. Jovin said the increase in intracranial hemorrhage seen in the endovascular group was similar to that seen in other situations.

“This is not really any different from what is seen when giving tPA [tissue plasminogen activator] to stroke patients or when performing thrombectomy in small or moderate core strokes – we know that intracranial hemorrhage is the price to pay,” he stated.

“While the increase in symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage was nonsignificant, the trend is very clear, and I believe it is real,” Dr. Jovin said. “But I think what matters – and what matters to patients – is that there is a much higher chance of having a good outcome with endovascular therapy. I think most patients will accept the extra risk of intracranial hemorrhage if there is an even higher chance of having a better neurological outcome. This is no different to the approach that we take when we treat patients with IV tPA.”

Dr. Jovin pointed out that the RESCUE-JAPAN study did not include the largest core infarcts (ASPECTS score 0-1), but he added that these very large core infarcts are quite rare – especially in patients in the early time window.

He concluded that the study provided important information but cautioned that, with just 200 patients, the findings needed confirmation from other randomized trials that are ongoing.

Also speaking at the ISC press conference, Mitchell Elkind, MD, immediate past president of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, and professor of neurology at Columbia University, New York, said previous trials had established endovascular therapy for patients with large cerebral artery occlusions who have primarily preserved brain tissue and small infarct cores.

“We have picked off the low-lying fruit – the patients with small areas of infarcted brain. But perhaps most patients do not fit into this category and now we are seeing trials addressing these groups,” he said. “This initial study suggests that these patients with larger core infarcts can indeed still benefit from this therapy tremendously.”

The RESCUE-JAPAN LIMIT study was supported in part by the Mihara Cerebrovascular Disorder Research Promotion Fund and the Japanese Society for Neuroendovascular Therapy. There was no industry involvement. Dr. Yoshimura reported research grants from Stryker, Siemens Healthineers, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sanofi, Eisai, Daiichi Sankyo, Teijin Pharma, Chugai Pharmaceutical, HEALIOS, Asahi Kasei Medical, Kowa, and CSL Behring; and lecturer fees from Stryker, Medtronic, Johnson & Johnson, Kaneka, Terumo, Biomedical Solutions, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Daiichi Sankyo, Bayer, and Bristol-Meyers Squibb.

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