The majority of strokes are the result of blood clots in the main vessels of the brain. These blood clots cause a blockage in blood flow to certain areas of the brain which can then lead to brain tissue damage and devastating neurological loss. This neurological loss may include motor function deficits, difficult speech, visual deficits, sensory loss, and, in severe cases, death.
The latest guidelines for the American Stroke Association point to intra-arterial thrombectomy (IAT), a type of endovascular therapy, as the treatment of choice to restore neurological functioning in patients with Large Vessel Occlusion Strokes. IAT is an emergency surgery in which the blood clots causing restricted blood flow in the brain, are removed. While IAT is the outlined treatment of choice, only 60-70% of patients have good outcomes. The modality of anesthesia used during IAT appears to impact patient outcomes. To this day, there is no standard of care anesthesia modality for this treatment, and there is a debate amongst the medical community as to whether General Anesthesia (GA) or Conscious Sedation (CS) leads to more successful treatment and better patient outcomes.
The SEGA trial strives to resolve this debate by comparing outcomes in acute stroke patients who receive IAT under GA with those who receive IAT under CS.