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Although the efficacy of endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) for acute ischemic stroke caused by intracranial anterior circulation large vessel occlusion (LVO) is proven, demonstration of local effectiveness is critical for health system planning and resource allocation because of the complexity and cost of this treatment.
Using our prospective registry, we identified all patients who underwent EVT for out-of-hospital LVO stroke from February 1, 2013 through January 31, 2017 (n = 44), and matched them 1:1 in a hierarchical fashion with control patients not treated with EVT based on age (±5 years), prehospital functional status, stroke syndrome, severity, and thrombolysis administration. Demographics, in-hospital mortality, discharge disposition from acute care, length of hospitalization, and functional status at discharge from acute care and at follow-up were compared between cases and controls.
For EVT-treated patients (median age 66, 50% women), the median onset-to-recanalization interval was 247 min, and successful recanalization was achieved in 30/44 (91%). Alteplase was administered in 75% of cases and 57% of controls (p = 0.07). In-hospital mortality was 11% among the cases and 36% in the control group (p = 0.006); this survival benefit persisted during follow-up (p = 0.014). More EVT patients were discharged home from acute care (50% vs. 18%, p = 0.002). Among survivors, there were nonsignificant trends in favor of EVT for median length of hospitalization (14 vs. 41 days, p = 0.11) and functional independence at follow-up (51% vs. 32%, p = 0.079).
EVT improved survival and decreased disability. This demonstration of single-center effectiveness may help facilitate expansion of EVT services in similar health-care jurisdictions.
Endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) is efficacious for ischemic stroke caused by proximal intracranial large-vessel occlusion involving the anterior cerebral circulation. However, evidence of its cost-effectiveness, especially in a real-world setting, is limited. We assessed whether EVT ± tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) was cost-effective when compared with standard care ± tPA at our center.
We identified patients treated with EVT ± tPA after the Endovascular treatment for Small Core and Anterior circulation Proximal occlusion with Emphasis on minimizing computed tomography to recanalization times trial from our prospective stroke registry from February 1, 2013 to January 31, 2017. Patients admitted before February 2013 and treated with standard care ± tPA constitute the controls. The sample size was 88. Cost-effectiveness was assessed using the net monetary benefit (NMB). Differences in average costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) were estimated using the augmented inverse probability weighted estimator. We accounted for sampling and methodological uncertainty in sensitivity analyses.
Patients treated with EVT ± tPA had a net gain of 2.89 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.93–4.99] QALYs at an additional cost of $22,200 (95% CI: −28,902–78,244) per patient compared with the standard care ± tPA group. The NMB was $122,300 (95% CI: −4777–253,133) with a 0.85 probability of being cost-effective. The expected savings to the healthcare system would amount to $321,334 per year.
EVT ± tPA had higher costs and higher QALYs compared with the control, and is likely to be cost-effective at a willingness-to-pay threshold of $50,000 per QALY.
In patients with subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) and a negative finding on CT angiography (CTA), further imaging with digital subtraction angiography (DSA) is commonly performed to identify the source of bleeding. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether negative findings on CTA can reliably exclude aneurysms in patients with acute SAH.
This retrospective study identified all DSAs performed between August 2010 and July 2014 within our institution. CT angiography was performed with a 64-section multidetector row CT scanner. Only DSAs from patients with confirmed SAH and a negative CTA result were included in the final analyses. A fellowship-trained neuroradiologist reviewed the imaging results.
Of the 857 DSAs, 50 (5.83%) were performed in 35 patients with CTA-negative SAH. Of the 35 patients, three (8.57%) had positive findings on the DSA. In one patient, suspicious dissection of the extra- and intra-cranial segment of the right vertebral artery could not be confirmed even in retrospect. In the second patient, the suspicious finding of tiny protuberance from the left paraclinoid internal carotid artery (ICA) on DSA did not change on follow-up and did not change patient’s management. The third patient had a posterior inferior cerebellar artery aneurysm, which was not seen on the initial CTA owing to the incomplete coverage of the head on the CTA.
In patients with SAH, negative findings on a technically sound CTA are reliable in ruling out aneurysms in any pattern of SAH or no blood on CT. Our observations need to be confirmed with larger prospective studies.
Purpose: To compare patient effective dose resulting from two alternative imaging protocols for pre-coiling assessment of intracranial aneurysms: a series of 2D Digital Subtraction Angiography (DSA) projections, and a 3D rotational angiography (RA) acquisition. Methods: In a retrospective analysis, we investigated 44 patients who underwent endovascular coiling in our institution. Images were acquired on a biplane Image Intensifier system not equipped with dose-area product (DAP) meter. Conventional 2D DSA images were simulated with an anthropomorphic skull phantom. Entrance skin dose was measured with a 60 cc ion chamber, and the PCXMC Monte Carlo based software was used to calculate patient effective dose. For the RA protocol, a 16 cm computed tomography (CT) dosimetry phantom and a 100 mm pencil ion chamber were employed to measure the CT dose index. Patient effective dose was calculated with the ImPACT calculator. An unpaired two-tailed t-test was used to determine the significance of differences between patient doses in each group. Results: Sixteen patients underwent the 2D DSA protocol with multiple projections; their mean number of cine runs was 5.1; the mean effective dose was 2.11 millisievert (mSv) (range 1.69–3.43 mSv). Twenty eight patients were assessed using the 3D RA protocol with the effective dose of 1.29 mSv. The difference between the means of two dose distributions was statistically significant (p=0.00028). Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that the patient effective dose was significantly lower from the 3D RA protocol than that from the 2D DSA protocol used in the planning of coiling of intracranial aneurysm.
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