Intravenous Thrombolysis Before Thrombectomy Improves Functional Outcome After Stroke Independent of Reperfusion Grade

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



BACKGROUND: We studied the association of bridging intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) before thrombectomy for anterior circulation large-vessel occlusion and functional outcome and scrutinized its dependence on grade of reperfusion and distal thrombus migration.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We included consecutive patients with anterior circulation large-vessel occlusion from our prospective registry of thrombectomy-eligible patients treated from January 1, 2017 to January 1, 2023 at a tertiary stroke center in Germany in this retrospective cohort study. To evaluate the association of bridging IVT and functional outcome quantified via modified Rankin Scale score at 90 days we used multivariable logistic and lasso regression including interaction terms with grade of reperfusion quantified via modified Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction (mTICI) scale and distal thrombus migration adjusted for demographic and cardiovascular risk profiles, clinical and imaging stroke characteristics, onset-to-recanalization time and distal thrombus migration. We performed sensitivity analysis using propensity score matching. In our study population of 1000 thrombectomy-eligible patients (513 women; median age, 77 years [interquartile range, 67-84]), IVT emerged as a predictor of favorable functional outcome (modified Rankin Scale score, 0-2) independent of modified mTICI score (adjusted odds ratio, 0.49 [95% CI, 0.32-0.75]; P=0.001). In those who underwent thrombectomy (n=812), the association of IVT and favorable functional outcome was reproduced (adjusted odds ratio, 0.49 [95% CI, 0.31-0.74]; P=0.001) and was further confirmed on propensity score analysis, where IVT led to a 0.35-point decrease in 90-day modified Rankin Scale score (ß=-0.35 [95 CI%, -0.68 to 0.01]; P=0.04). The additive benefit of IVT remained independent of modified mTICI score (ß=-1.79 [95% CI, -3.43 to -0.15]; P=0.03) and distal thrombus migration (ß=-0.41 [95% CI, -0.69 to -0.13]; P=0.004) on interaction analysis. Consequently, IVT showed an additive association with functional outcome in the subpopulation of patients undergoing thrombectomy who achieved successful reperfusion (mTICI ≥2b; ß=-0.46 [95% CI, -0.74 to -0.17]; P=0.002) and remained beneficial in those with unsuccessful reperfusion (mTICI ≤2a; ß=-0.47 [95% CI, -0.96 to 0.01]; P=0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: In thrombectomy-eligible patients with anterior circulation large-vessel occlusion, IVT improves functional outcome independent of grade of reperfusion and distal thrombus migration.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere031854
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number6
Early online date8 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2024

External IDs

ORCID /0000-0001-5258-0025/work/155292248
Scopus 85188479330



  • Thrombolytic Therapy/adverse effects, Thrombosis/etiology, Humans, Stroke/etiology, Treatment Outcome, Endovascular Procedures/methods, Thrombectomy/adverse effects, Reperfusion, Fibrinolytic Agents/adverse effects, Female, Aged, Brain Ischemia/therapy, Retrospective Studies, Cerebral Infarction/etiology