American Heart Association, Stroke, 2021
Background: Cerebral white matter lesions (WMLs) have been associated with a greater risk of poor functional outcome after ischemic stroke. We assessed the relations between WML burden and radiological and clinical outcomes in patients treated with endovascular treatment in routine practice. Methods: We analyzed data from the MR CLEAN Registry (Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial of Endovascular Treatment for Acute Ischaemic Stroke in the Netherlands)—a prospective, multicenter, observational cohort study of patients treated with endovascular treatment in the Netherlands. WMLs were graded on baseline noncontrast computed tomography using a visual grading scale. The primary outcome was the score on the modified Rankin Scale at 90 days. Secondary outcomes included early neurological recovery, successful reperfusion (extended Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction ≥2b), futile recanalization (modified Rankin Scale score ≥3 despite successful reperfusion), and occurrence of symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage. We used multivariable logistic regression models to assess associations between WML severity and outcomes, taking the absence of WML on noncontrast computed tomography as the reference category. Results: Of 3180 patients included in the MR CLEAN Registry between March 2014 and November 2017, WMLs were graded for 3046 patients and categorized as none (n=1855; 61%), mild (n=608; 20%), or moderate to severe (n=588; 19%). Favorable outcome (modified Rankin Scale score, 0–2) was achieved in 838 patients (49%) without WML, 192 patients (34%) with mild WML, and 130 patients (24%) with moderate-to-severe WML. Increasing WML grades were associated with a shift toward poorer functional outcome in a dose-dependent manner (adjusted common odds ratio, 1.34 [95% CI, 1.13–1.60] for mild WML and 1.67 [95% CI, 1.39–2.01] for moderate-to-severe WML; P trend , <0.001). Increasing WML grades were associated with futile recanalization ( P trend , <0.001) and were inversely associated with early neurological recovery ( P trend , 0.041) but not with the probability of successful reperfusion or symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage. Conclusions: An increasing burden of WML at baseline is associated with poorer clinical outcomes after endovascular treatment for acute ischemic stroke but not with the probability of successful reperfusion or symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage.