The Cerebral Collateral Cascade: Comprehensive Blood Flow in Ischemic Stroke. Neurology Faizy, T. D., Mlynash, M., Kabiri, R., Christensen, S., Kuraitis, G. M., Mader, M. M., Flottmann, F., Broocks, G., Lansberg, M. G., Albers, G. W., Marks, M. P., Fiehler, J., Wintermark, M., Heit, J. J. 2022


Robust cerebral collaterals are associated with favorable outcomes in patients with acute ischemic stroke due to large vessel occlusion treated by thrombectomy. However, collateral status assessment mostly relies on single imaging biomarkers and a more comprehensive holistic approach may provide deeper insights into the biology of collateral perfusion on medical imaging. Comprehensive collateralization is defined as blood flow of cerebral arteries through the brain tissue and into draining veins. We hypothesized that a comprehensive analysis of the cerebral collateral cascade (CCC) on an arterial, tissue and venous level would predict clinical and radiological outcomes.Multicenter retrospective cohort study of acute stroke patients undergoing thrombectomy triage. CCC was determined by quantifying pial arterial collaterals, tissue-level collaterals, and venous outflow. Pial arterial collaterals were determined by CT angiography, tissue-level collaterals were assessed on CT perfusion. Venous outflow was assessed on CT angiography using the cortical vein opacification score. 3 groups were defined: CCC+ (good pial collaterals, tissue-level collaterals, and venous outflow), CCC- (poor pial collaterals, tissue-level collaterals, and venous outflow) and CCCmixed (remainder of patients). Primary outcome was functional independence (modified Rankin Scale: 0-2) at 90-days. Secondary outcome was final infarct volume.647 patients met inclusion criteria: 176 CCC+, 345 CCC mixed and 126 CCC-. Multivariable ordinal logistic regression showed that CCC+ predicted good functional outcomes (OR=18.9 [95% CI 8-44.5]; p<0.001) compared to CCC- and CCCmixed patients. CCCmixed patients likely had better functional outcomes compared to CCC- patients (OR=2.5 [95% CI 1.2-5.4]; p=0.014). Quantile regression analysis (50th percentile) showed that CCC+ (ß: -78.5, 95% CI -96.0- -61.1; p<0.001) and CCCmixed (ß: -64.0, 95% CI -82.4- -45.6; p<0.001) profiles were associated with considerably lower final infarct volumes compared to CCC- profiles.Comprehensive assessment of the collateral blood flow cascade in acute stroke patients is a strong predictor of clinical and radiological outcomes in patients treated by thrombectomy.

View details for DOI 10.1212/WNL.0000000000200340

View details for PubMedID 35483902