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Drip and ship for mechanical thrombectomy within the Neurovascular Network of Southwest Bavaria.

Neurology. 2019 Dec 12. pii: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000008753. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000008753. [Epub ahead of print]

Authors/Editors: Feil K, Rémi J, Küpper C, Herzberg M, Dorn F, Kunz WG, Rotkopf LT, Heinrich J, Müller K, Laub C, Levin J, Hüttemann K, Dabitz R, Müller R, Wollenweber FA, Pfefferkorn T, Hamann GF, Liebig T, Dieterich M, Kellert L.
Publication Date: 2019


OBJECTIVE: To determine feasibility and safety of stroke care organization within our Neurovascular Network of Southwest Bavaria (NEVAS) in a rural area with distances of up to 100 kilometers, we compared patients who underwent mechanical thrombectomy (MT) in large vessel occlusion admitted directly to our center (direct to center [DTC]) to patients who were transferred for MT via NEVAS (drip and ship [DS]).

METHODS: This is a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data of all MT patients between January 2015 and May 2018. Successful recanalization was defined as a thrombolysis in cerebral infarction score of 2b-3. Symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage (sICH) was defined according to European Cooperative Acute Stroke Study 3. Modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score of 0-2 at 3 months indicated good outcome.

RESULTS: MT was performed in 410 patients: 221 DTC and 189 DS. Median NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score was 16 and premorbid mRS score was 0. Thrombolysis was applied in 62.2% with the same time from symptom onset in both groups (94.5 vs 95 minutes). Successful recanalization (79.3% vs 77.8%) and NIHSS score reduction from admission to discharge (16-7 vs 17-6) were comparable. Time delay from onset to revascularization was 96 minutes in DS (212 vs 308 minutes, p = 0.001). At follow-up, DTC patients had a trend to better outcome (33.5% vs 24.3%, p = 0.056). Neither sICH (6.3% vs 5.9%, p = 0.840) nor mortality (31.2% vs 34.4%, p = 0.387) differed between the groups.

CONCLUSION: DS patients benefit from MT without relevant safety concerns, but with a trend to unfavorable outcome compared to DTC patients. These results suggest that DS is suitable to provide MT in rural areas where DTC is not possible.

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