Background and purpose Mechanical thrombectomy (MT) for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke has been growing in popularity while the therapeutic benefit of MT has been increasingly debated. Our objective was to examine national trends in mortality following MT.
Methods We analyzed the National Inpatient Sample (2012) and the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (2008–2011) for patients with a primary diagnosis of acute ischemic stroke that received MT. Temporal trends in mortality were examined using Spearman's rank correlation. To account for confounding factors, mortality was further analyzed in binary logistic regression.
Results Hospitals performing MT comprised 8% of all hospitals treating ischemic stroke. The percentage of stroke cases treated with MT increased from 0.6% of cases in 2008 to 1.1% in 2012, totaling 16 307 MT cases in a 5 year period. Inhospital mortality decreased over the study period from 25.4% in 2008 to 16.1% in 2012 (r=−0.081, p<0.001). This finding was supported by regression analysis as each incremental year reduced the odds of mortality by 20% (OR=0.832, p<0.001). Administration of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator was associated with a decrease in the odds of mortality (OR=0.805, p<0.001).
Conclusions Utilization of MT represents a small percentage of stroke cases, although the trend is increasing. Mortality following MT has been showing a steady decline over the past 5 years. This may be a result of a learning curve, improved patient selection, and/or device improvements. Randomized trials remain essential to evaluate the potential benefit of endovascular devices and identify the most appropriate patients.