Article Text

Download PDFPDF
The professional and personal impact of the coronavirus pandemic on US neurointerventional practices: a nationwide survey
  1. Kyle M Fargen1,
  2. Thabele M Leslie-Mazwi2,
  3. Richard P Klucznik3,
  4. Stacey Q Wolfe1,
  5. Patrick Brown1,
  6. Sameer A Ansari4,
  7. Guilherme Dabus5,
  8. Alejandro M Spiotta6,
  9. Maxim Mokin7,
  10. Ameer E Hassan8,
  11. David Liebeskind9,
  12. Babu G Welch10,
  13. Adnan H Siddiqui11,
  14. Joshua A Hirsch12
  1. 1 Neurological Surgery and Radiology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
  2. 2 Neurosurgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  3. 3 Neuroradiology, Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas, USA
  4. 4 Radiology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  5. 5 Interventional Neuroradiology and Neuroendovascular Surgery, Miami Neuroscience Institute and Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute – Baptist Hospital, Miami, Florida, USA
  6. 6 Neurosurgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, USA
  7. 7 Neurosurgery, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA
  8. 8 Department of Neurology, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Treasure Hills, Harlingen, Texas, USA
  9. 9 Neurology, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA
  10. 10 Neurosurgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA
  11. 11 Neurosurgery, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA
  12. 12 NeuroEndovascular Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kyle M Fargen, Neurological Surgery and Radiology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA; kfargen{at}


Background Little is currently known about the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on neurointerventional (NI) procedural volumes or its toll on physician wellness.

Methods A 37-question online survey was designed and distributed to physician members of three NI physician organizations.

Results A total of 151 individual survey responses were obtained. Reduced mechanical thrombectomy procedures compared with pre-pandemic were observed with 32% reporting a greater than 50% reduction in thrombectomy volumes. In concert with most (76%) reporting at least a 25% reduction in non-mechanical thrombectomy urgent NI procedures and a nearly unanimous (96%) cessation of non-urgent elective cases, 68% of physicians reported dramatic reductions (>50%) in overall NI procedural volume compared with pre-pandemic. Increased door-to-puncture times were reported by 79%. COVID-19-positive infections occurred in 1% of physician respondents: an additional 8% quarantined for suspected infection. Sixty-six percent of respondents reported increased career stress, 56% increased personal life/family stress, and 35% increased career burnout. Stress was significantly increased in physicians with COVID-positive family members (P<0.05).

Conclusions This is the first study designed to understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on NI physician practices, case volumes, compensation, personal/family stresses, and work-related burnout. Future studies examining these factors following the resumption of elective cases and relaxing of social distancing measures will be necessary to better understand these phenomena.

  • infection
  • stroke
  • thrombectomy

This article is made freely available for use in accordance with BMJ’s website terms and conditions for the duration of the covid-19 pandemic or until otherwise determined by BMJ. You may use, download and print the article for any lawful, non-commercial purpose (including text and data mining) provided that all copyright notices and trade marks are retained.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Twitter @JoshuaAHirsch

  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it was published Online First. Affiliation 8 was corrected to 'Department of Neurology, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley,

    Treasure Hills, Harlingen, Texas, USA'

  • Contributors Concept design: KF, JH. Survey design: KF, JH, MM, AS, GD, TL, PB. Survey distribution: all authors. Manuscript composition: KF, JH, TL, PB, MM, AS, RK. Final approval for article: all authors.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial,or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval IRB approval obtained at Wake Forest, #IRB00065891.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information. All data relevant to the study are included in the article.