BMC Neurol. 2022 Nov 9;22(1):415. doi: 10.1186/s12883-022-02953-2.
BACKGROUND: The evidence for mechanical thrombectomy in acute basilar artery occlusion has until now remained inconclusive with basilar artery strokes associated with high rates of death and disability. This systematic review and meta-analysis will summarize the available evidence for the effectiveness of mechanical thrombectomy in acute basilar artery occlusion compared to best medical therapy.
METHODS: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials using Embase, Medline and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL). We calculated risk ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to summarize the effect estimates for each outcome.
RESULTS: We performed a random effects (Mantel-Haenszel) meta-analysis of the four included randomized controlled trials comprising a total of 988 participants. We found a statistically significant improvement in the rates of those with a good functional outcome (mRS 0-3, RR 1.54, 1.16-2.06, p = 0.003) and functional independence (mRS 0-2, RR 1.69, 1.05-2.71, p = 0.03) in those who were treated with thrombectomy when compared to best medical therapy alone. Thrombectomy was associated with a higher level of sICH (RR 7.12, 2.16-23.54, p = 0.001) but this was not reflected in a higher mortality rate, conversely the mortality rate was significantly lower in the intervention group (RR 0.76, 0.65-0.89, p = 0.0004).
CONCLUSIONS: Our meta-analysis of the recently presented randomized controlled studies is the first to confirm the disability and mortality benefit of mechanical thrombectomy in basilar artery stroke.