• acute stroke therapy;
  • diabetes;
  • glucose;
  • intra-arterial thrombolysis;
  • outcome;
  • recanalization


Stroke patients with diabetes and admission hyperglycaemia have worse outcomes than non-diabetics, with or without intravenous thrombolysis. Poor vessel recanalization was reported in diabetics treated with intravenous thrombolysis.


This study aimed to determine the impact of admission glucose and diabetes on recanalization and outcome after intra-arterial thrombolysis.


We analysed 389 patients (213 men, 176 women) treated with intra-arterial thrombolysis. The association of diabetes and admission glucose value with recanalization, outcome, mortality, and symptomatic intracranial haemorrhage was determined. Recanalization was classified according to thrombolysis in myocardial infarction grades. Outcome was measured using the modified Rankin Scale at three-months and categorized as favourable (modified Rankin Scale 0–2) or poor (modified Rankin Scale 3–6).


The rate of partial or complete recanalization (thrombolysis in myocardial infarction 2–3) did not differ between patients with and without diabetes (67% vs. 66%; P = 1·000). Mean admission glucose values were similar in patients with poor recanalization (thrombolysis in myocardial infarction 0–1) and patients with partial or complete recanalization (thrombolysis in myocardial infarction 2–3; 7·3 vs. 7·3 mmol/l; P = 0·746). Follow-up at three-months was obtained in 388 of 389 patients. Clinical outcome was favourable (modified Rankin Scale 0–2) in 189 patients (49%) and poor (modified Rankin Scale 3–6) in 199 patients (51%). Mortality at three-months was 20%. Diabetics were more likely to have poor outcome (72% vs. 48%; P = 0·001) and to be dead (30% vs. 19%; P = 0·044) at three-months. After multivariable analysis, there remained an independent relationship between diabetes and outcome (P = 0·003; odds ratio 3·033, 95% confidence interval 1·452–6·336), but not with mortality (P = 0·310; odds ratio 1·436; 95% confidence interval 0·714–2·888). Moreover, higher age (P = 0·001; odds ratio 1·039; 95% confidence interval 1·017–1·061), higher baseline National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score (P < 0·0001; odds ratio 1·130; 95% confidence interval 1·079–1·182), location of vessel occlusion as categorical variable (P < 0·0001), poor collaterals (P = 0·02; odds ratio 1·587; 95% confidence interval 1·076–2·341), poor vessel recanalization (P < 0·0001; odds ratio 4·713; 95% confidence interval 2·627–8·454), and higher leucocyte count (P = 0·032; odds ratio 1·094; 95% confidence interval 1·008–1·188) were independent baseline predictors of poor outcome. Higher admission glucose was associated with poor outcome (P = 0·006) and mortality (P < 0·0001). After multivariate analyses, glucose remained independently associated with poor outcome (P = 0·019; odds ratio 1·150; 95% confidence interval 1·023–1–292) and mortality (P = 0·005; odds ratio 1·183; 95% confidence interval 1052–1·331). The rate of symptomatic intracranial haemorrhage was similar in diabetics and non-diabetics (6·7% vs. 4·6%; P = 0·512). Mean admission glucose was higher in patients with symptomatic intracranial haemorrhage than without (8·58 vs. 7·26 mmol/l; P = 0·010). Multivariable analysis confirmed an independent association between admission glucose and symptomatic intracranial haemorrhage (P = 0·027; odds ratio 1·187; 95% confidence interval 1·020–1·381).


Diabetes and glucose value on admission did not influence recanalization after intra-arterial thrombolysis; nevertheless, they were independent predictors of poor outcome after intra-arterial thrombolysis and a higher admission glucose value was an independent predictor of symptomatic intracranial haemorrhage. This indicates that factors on the capillary, cellular, or metabolic level may account for the worse outcome in patients with elevated glucose value and diabetes.