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Endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) significantly improves outcomes for acute ischemic stroke patients with large vessel occlusion (LVO) who present in a time sensitive manner. Prolonged EVT access times may reduce benefits for eligible patients. We evaluated the efficiency of EVT services including EVT rates, onset-to-CTA time and onset-to-groin puncture time in our province.
Materials and methods:
Three areas were defined: zone I- urban region, zone II-areas within 1 h drive distance from the Comprehensive Stroke Center (CSC); and zone III-areas more than 1hr drive distance from the CSC. In this retrospective cohort study, EVT rate, onset-to-groin puncture time and onset-to-CTA time were compared among the three groups using Krustal–Wallis and Wilcoxon tests.
The EVT rate per 100,000 inhabitants for urban zone I was 8.6 as compared to 5.1 in zone II, and 7.5 in zone III. Compared to zone I (114 min; 95% CI (96, 132); n = 128), mean onset-to-CTA time was 19 min longer in zone II (133 min; 95% CI (77, 189); n = 23; p = 0.0459) and 103 min longer in zone III (217 min, 95% CI (162, 272); n = 44; p < 0.0001). Compared to zone I (209 min, 95% CI (181, 238)), mean onset-to-groin puncture time was 22 min longer in zone II (231 min, 95% CI (174, 288); p = 0.046) but 163 min longer in zone III (372 min, 95% CI (312, 432); p < 0.0001).
EVT access in rural areas is considerably reduced with significantly longer onset-to-groin puncture times and onset-to-CTA times when compared to our urban area. This may help in modifying the patient transfer policy for EVT referral.
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