Perceptions on basilar artery occlusion management in China versus other countries: Analysis of the after the BEST of BASICS (ABBA) survey

Huo X, Klein P, Raynald, Drumm B, Chen Y, Qureshi MM, Schonewille WJ, Liu X, Hu W, Ji X, Li C, Zhu Y, Abdalkader M, Strbian D, Fischer U, Puetz V, Alemseged
F, Yamagami H, Sacco S, Saposnik G, Michel P, Kristoffersen ES, Sedova P, Mikulik R, Siegler JE, Lobotesis K, Roi D, Demeestere J, Han H, Yuan G, Ton MD,
Chen HS, Yang Q, Qiu Z, Martins SO, Tsivgoulis G, Thomalla G, Nagel S, Campbell BCV, Jovin TG, Nogueira RG, Raymond J, Banerjee S, Nguyen TN, Miao Z.

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2022 Oct 4;31(11):106804. doi:10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2022.106804. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36206608.

14 Oct 2022

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Introduction: Uncertainty remains on the optimal management of basilar artery occlusion (BAO). Two large randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in 2019 and 2021 demonstrated neutral results with respect to the use of endovascular therapy (EVT) for BAO. This study aimed to understand regional variation in physicians' perceptions towards the treatment of BAO as stratified by physician respondents from China versus outside China, prior to the publication of studies demonstrating a benefit of EVT for BAO.

Methods: An international online survey was conducted of stroke neurologists and neurointerventionalists from January to March 2022. Survey questions evaluated physician opinions toward the use of EVT in BAO, as well as the clinical and imaging features underlying treatment decisions. Respondents were dichotomized as either from China or from other countries and differences between groups were analyzed.

Results: There were 1245 physician respondents across 73 countries of which 295 (23.7%) were from China. Compared to respondents from the rest of the world, respondents from China were more likely to be interventionalists (71.5% vs 35.0%; p < 0.0001). Overall, more than 95% of respondents believed that EVT was superior to medical therapy under certain circumstances. Chinese respondents were more likely to believe that further RCTs were necessary than respondents from other countries (93.6% vs 76.2%; p < 0.0001). Chinese respondents were more likely to use advanced imaging in later time windows and use a premorbid mRS threshold of ≤2 for BAO selection to EVT.

Conclusion: Most stroke physicians believe EVT is beneficial in selected patients with BAO. Clinical and imaging modality differences were observed in the selection criteria used for EVT. There was greater inclination to enroll all trial eligible patients in a BAO RCT by respondents from China as compared to other parts of the world.

Keywords: Basilar artery occlusion; Endovascular therapy; Intravenous thrombolysis; Mechanical thrombectomy.

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