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Stroke. 2007 Mar;38(3):967-73. Epub 2007 Feb 1.

The impact of recanalization on ischemic stroke outcome: a meta-analysis.

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Department of Neurology, Inha University Hospital, Incheon, Korea.



For a biomarker to serve as an auxiliary or surrogate outcome measure, it must be tightly correlated with and causally related to functional clinical outcome. Vessel recanalization is a potential surrogate outcome marker for functional outcome in trials of thrombolytic and mechanical recanalization therapies in acute stroke, but the correlation of recanalization and clinical outcome has not been previously systematically reviewed.


Through Medline search, we identified and abstracted recanalization and outcome data from all articles published between 1985 and 2002 that assessed vessel recanalization, either spontaneous or therapeutically induced, in acute ischemic stroke.


Fifty-three studies encompassing 2066 patients reported recanalization rates. Recanalization rates categorized according to intervention were: spontaneous (24.1%), intravenous fibrinolytic (46.2%), intra-arterial fibrinolytic (63.2%), combined intravenous-intra-arterial (67.5%), and mechanical (83.6%). Clinical outcome data categorized by success or failure in achieving recanalization was available from 33 articles encompassing 998 patients. Good functional outcomes at 3 months were more frequent in recanalized versus nonrecanalized patients with odds ratio of 4.43 (95% CI, 3.32 to 5.91). Three-month mortality was reduced in recanalized patients (odds ratio, 0.24; 95% CI, 0.16 to 0.35). Rates of symptomatic hemorrhagic transformation did not differ between the 2 groups (odds ratio, 1.11; 95% CI, 0.71 to 1.74).


Formal meta-analysis confirms a strong correlation between recanalization and outcome in acute ischemic stroke. Recanalization is strongly associated with improved functional outcomes and reduced mortality. These findings suggest that recanalization is an appropriate biomarker of therapeutic activity in early phase trials of thrombolytic treatment in acute ischemic stroke.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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