The optimal general anesthetic (GA) technique for stroke patients undergoing endovascular thrombectomy (ET) is unclear. We compared favorable outcomes and mortality in patients receiving propofol or volatile GA during ET and assessed associations between mean arterial pressure (MAP) and outcome.
Ninety-three patients with anterior circulation stroke who received propofol or volatile GA during ET between February 2015 and February 2018 were included in this retrospective study. Ninety-day modified Rankin scores were compared and mortality was adjusted for intravenous thrombolysis and diabetes. We performed ordinal logistic regression analyses containing MAP time/exposure thresholds.
There was no difference in the rate of favorable outcome (modified Rankin scores 0-2) in the volatile and propofol groups (48.8% vs. 55.8%, respectively; P=0.5). Ninety-day mortality was lower in patients receiving propofol (11.5%) than in those receiving volatile GA (29.3%) (odds ratio, 0.32; 95% confidence interval, 0.11 to 0.94; P=0.03); this mortality benefit was greater in patients that did not receive intravenous thrombolysis before ET (odds ratio for survival, 6; 95% confidence interval, 1.13 to 31.74). There was no difference in MAP between groups and a (nonsignificant) trend towards the benefit of MAP <90 mm Hg but not <70 mm Hg.
Favorable outcome rates were similar in stroke patients receiving propofol or volatile GA during ET. Propofol was associated with lower mortality, an effect magnified in patients that did not receive intravenous thrombolysis. MAP time/exposure thresholds were associated with outcome but independent of the anesthetic agent. Our data suggest that a difference in outcome related to an anesthetic agent may exist; this hypothesis needs to be tested in a prospective study.