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Inter-hospital transfer for mechanical thrombectomy within the supraregional stroke network NEVAS.

J Neurol. 2020;10.1007/s00415-020-10165-2. doi:10.1007/s00415-020-10165-2 [published online ahead of print, 2020 Sep 5]

Authors/Editors: Feil K, Rémi J, Küpper C, Herzberg M, Dorn F, Kunz WG, Reidler P, Levin J, Hüttemann K, Tiedt S, Heidger W, Müller K, Thunstedt DC, Dabitz R, Müller R, Pfefferkorn T, Hamann GF, Liebig T, Dieterich M, Kellert L.
Publication Date: 2020


BACKGROUND Telemedicine stroke networks are mandatory to provide inter-hospital transfer for mechanical thrombectomy (MT). However, studies on patient selection in daily practice are sparse.

METHODS Here, we analyzed consecutive patients from 01/2014 to 12/2018 within the supraregional stroke network “Neurovascular Network of Southwest Bavaria” (NEVAS) in terms of diagnoses after consultation, inter-hospital transfer and predictors for performing MT. Degree of disability was rated by the modified Rankin Scale (mRS), good outcome was defined as mRS ≤ 2. Successful reperfusion was assumed when the modified thrombolysis in cerebral infarction (mTICI) was 2b-3.

RESULTS Of 5722 telemedicine consultations, in 14.1% inter-hospital transfer was performed, mostly because of large vessel occlusion (LVO) stroke. A total of n = 350 patients with LVO were shipped via NEVAS to our center for MT. While n = 52 recanalized spontaneously, MT-treatment was performed in n = 178 patients. MT-treated patients had more severe strokes according to the median National institute of health stroke scale (NIHSS) (16 vs. 13, p < 0.001), were more often treated with intravenous thrombolysis (64.5% vs. 51.7%, p = 0.026) and arrived significantly earlier in our center (184.5 versus 228.0 min, p < 0.001). Good outcome (27.5% vs. 30.8%, p = 0.35) and mortality (32.6% versus 23.5%, p = 0.79) were comparable in MT-treated versus no-MT-treated patients. In patients with middle cerebral artery occlusion in the M1 segment or carotid artery occlusion good outcome was twice as often in the MT-group (21.8% vs. 12.8%, p = 0.184). Independent predictors for performing MT were higher NIHSS (OR 1.096), higher ASPECTS (OR 1.28), and earlier time window (OR 0.99).

CONCLUSION Within a telemedicine network stroke care can successfully be organized as only a minority of patients has to be transferred. Our data provide clinical evidence that all MT-eligible patients should be shipped with the fastest transportation modality as possible.

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