Background and Purpose- The effect of leptomeningeal collaterals for acute ischemic stroke patients with large vessel occlusion in the late window (>6 hours from last known normal) remains unknown. We sought to determine if collateral status on baseline computed tomography angiography impacted neurological outcome, ischemic core growth, and moderated the effect of endovascular thrombectomy in the late window. Methods- This is a prespecified analysis of DEFUSE 3 (Endovascular Therapy Following Imaging Evaluation for Ischemic Stroke). We included patients with computed tomography angiography as their baseline imaging and rated collateral status using the validated scales described by Tan and Maas. The primary outcome is functional independence (modified Rankin scale score of =2). Additional outcomes include the full range of the modified Rankin scale, baseline ischemic core volume, change from baseline in the ischemic core volume at 24 hours, and death at 90 days. Results- Of the 130 patients in our cohort, 33 (25%) had poor collaterals and 97 (75%) had good collaterals. There was no difference in the rate of functional independence with good versus poor collaterals in unadjusted analysis (30% versus 39%; P=0.3) or after adjustment for treatment arm (odds ratio [95% CI], 0.61 [0.26-1.45]). Good collaterals were associated with significantly smaller ischemic core volume and less ischemic core growth. The difference in the treatment effect of endovascular thrombectomy was not significant ( P=0.8). Collateral status also did not affect the rate of stroke-related death (n [%], good versus poor collaterals, 18/97 [19%] versus 8/33 [24%], P=0.5]. Conclusions- In DEFUSE 3 patients, good leptomeningeal collaterals on single phase computed tomography angiography were not predictive of functional independence or death and did not impact the treatment effect of endovascular thrombectomy. These unexpected findings require further study to confirm their validity and to better understand the role of collaterals for stroke patients with anterior circulation large vessel occlusion in the late therapeutic window. Clinical Trial Registration- URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov . Unique identifier: NCT02586415.
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