Does General Anesthesia Compared With Conscious Sedation Result in Better Outcomes in Acute Stroke Patients Undergoing Endovascular Therapy?

Levi W. Howard, Bart M Demaerschalk, Brian W Chong, Bernard R. Bendok, David Gritsch, Lisa A. Marks, Dean M. Wingerchuk, Cumara O'Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: There is considerable controversy surrounding the optimal use of sedation in patients with acute ischemic stroke undergoing mechanical thrombectomy. Several retrospective studies have favored conscious sedation (CS) over general anesthesia (GA) in terms of functional outcomes and mortality. Recent data from randomized controlled trials has challenged this view. OBJECTIVE: The aim was to critically assess current evidence regarding the use of CS versus GA in mechanical thrombectomy for acute ischemic stroke. METHODS: The objective was addressed through the development of a critically appraised topic that included a clinical scenario, structured question, literature search strategy, critical appraisal, assessment of results, evidence summary, commentary, and bottom-line conclusions. Participants included consultant and resident neurologists, a medical librarian, clinical epidemiologists, and content experts in the field of vascular neurology, vascular neurosurgery, and interventional neuroradiology. RESULTS: A randomized controlled trial was selected for critical appraisal. This trial compared 128 patients with acute ischemic stroke and large vessel occlusion from a single center (Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark), 65 of whom received GA and 63 received CS. No significant difference was detected for the primary outcome of volume of infarct growth. The rate of successful thrombectomy and favorable clinical outcomes for the GA arm was significantly higher in the intention-to-treat analysis. CONCLUSIONS: GA does not result in worse tissue outcomes or worse clinical outcomes when compared with CS in acute stroke patients with large vessel occlusion undergoing mechanical thrombectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-51
Number of pages5
JournalThe neurologist
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 4 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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