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Original research
Interhospital variation in reperfusion rates following endovascular treatment for acute ischemic stroke
  1. John T P Liggins1,
  2. Michael Mlynash1,
  3. Tudor G Jovin2,
  4. Matus Straka3,
  5. Stephanie Kemp1,
  6. Roland Bammer3,
  7. Michael P Marks1,
  8. Gregory W Albers1,
  9. Maarten G Lansberg1,
  10. on behalf of the DEFUSE 2 Investigators
  1. 1Stanford Stroke Center, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, California, USA
  2. 2Department of Neurology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Stroke Institute and UPMC Center for Neuroendovascular Therapy, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  3. 3Department of Radiology, Lucas Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Imaging Center, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to J T P Liggins, Stanford Stroke Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, 1215 Welch Road, Mod E, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; jliggins{at}


Background Patients who have successful reperfusion following endovascular therapy for acute ischemic stroke have improved clinical outcomes. We sought to determine if the chance of successful reperfusion differs among hospitals, and if hospital site is an independent predictor of reperfusion.

Methods Nine hospitals recruited patients in the Diffusion and Perfusion Imaging Evaluation for Understanding Stroke Evolution Study 2 (DEFUSE 2), a prospective cohort study of endovascular stroke treatment conducted between 2008 and 2011. Patients were included for analysis if they had a baseline Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction (TICI) score of 0 or 1. Successful reperfusion was defined as a TICI reperfusion score of 2b or 3 at completion of the procedure. Collaterals were assessed using the Collateral Flow Grading System and were dichotomized as poor (0–2) or good (3–4). The association between hospital site and successful reperfusion was first assessed in an unadjusted analysis and subsequently in a multivariate analysis that adjusted for predictors of successful reperfusion.

Results 36 of 89 patients (40%) achieved successful reperfusion. The rate of reperfusion varied from 0% to 77% among hospitals in the univariate analysis (χ2 p<0.001) but hospital site did not remain as an independent predictor of reperfusion in multivariate analysis (p=0.81) after adjustment for the presence of good collaterals (p<0.01) and use of the Merci retriever (p<0.05).

Conclusions Reperfusion rates vary among hospitals, which may be related to differences in treatment protocols and patient characteristics. Additional studies are needed to identify all of the factors that underlie this variability as this could lead to strategies that reduce interhospital variability in reperfusion rates and improve clinical outcomes.

  • acute stroke
  • endovascular treatment
  • hospital
  • variation
  • reperfusion

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