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Original research
Cost-effectiveness of endovascular thrombectomy in acute stroke patients with large ischemic core


Background Evidence has shown that endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) treatment improves clinical outcomes. Yet, its benefit remains uncertain in patients with large established infarcts as defined by ASPECTS (Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score) <6. This study evaluates the cost-effectiveness of EVT, compared with standard care (SC), in acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients with ASPECTS 3–5.

Methods An economic evaluation study was performed combining a decision tree and Markov model to estimate lifetime costs (2021 US$) and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) of AIS patients with ASPECTS 3–5. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs), net monetary benefits (NMBs), and deterministic one-way and two-way sensitivity analyses were performed. Probabilistic sensitivity analyses were also performed to evaluate the robustness of our model.

Results Compared with SC, the cost-effectiveness analyses revealed that EVT yields higher lifetime benefits (2.20 QALYs vs 1.41 QALYs) with higher lifetime healthcare cost per patient ($285 861 vs $272 954). The difference in health benefits between EVT and SC was 0.79 QALYs, equivalent to 288 additional days of healthy life per patient. Even though EVT is more costly than SC alone, it is still cost-effective given better outcomes with ICER of $16 239/QALY. The probabilistic sensitivity analyses indicated that EVT was the most cost-effective strategy in 98.8% (9882 of 10 000) of iterations at the willingness-to-pay threshold of $100 000 per QALY.

Conclusions The results of this study suggest that EVT is cost-effective in AIS patients with a large ischemic core (ASPECTS 3–5), compared with SC alone over the patient’s lifetime.

  • economics
  • stroke
  • thrombectomy

Data availability statement

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

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