Background and purpose: Acute ischemic stroke has increasingly become a procedural disease following the demonstrated benefit of mechanical thrombectomy (MT) for emergent large vessel occlusion (ELVO) on clinical outcomes and tissue salvage in randomized trials. Given these data and anecdotal experience of decreased numbers of decompressive hemicraniectomies (DHCs) performed for malignant cerebral edema, we sought to correlate the numbers of strokes, thrombectomies, and DHCs performed over the timeline of the 2013 failed thrombolysis/thrombectomy trials, to the 2015 modern randomized MT trials, to post-DAWN and DEFUSE 3. Materials and methods: This is a multicenter retrospective compilation of patients who presented with ELVO in 11 US high-volume comprehensive stroke centers. Rates of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), thrombectomy, and DHC were determined by current procedural terminology code, and specificity to acute ischemic stroke confirmed by each institution. Endpoints included the incidence of stroke, thrombectomy, and DHC and rates of change over time. Results: Between 2013 and 2018, there were 55,247 stroke admissions across 11 participating centers. Of these, 6145 received tPA, 4122 underwent thrombectomy, and 662 patients underwent hemicraniectomy. The trajectories of procedure rates over time were modeled and there was a significant change in MT rate (p = 0.002) without a concomitant change in the total number of stroke admissions, tPA administration rate, or rate of DHC. Conclusions: This real-world study confirms an increase in thrombectomy performed for ELVO while demonstrating stable rates of stroke admission, tPA administration and DHC. Unlike prior studies, increasing thrombectomy rates were not associated with decreased utilization of hemicraniectomy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology