Background The current global shortage in iohexol contrast material (Omnipaque) used in performing CT-based triage images and mechanical thrombectomy (MT) represents a challenge to the healthcare system. A study was undertaken to assess the safety and feasibility of implementing protocol-based changes in pre-MT and MT workflow at a comprehensive stroke center.
Methods A retrospective cohort study was undertaken of all patients with stroke who underwent MT during a 3-week period before implementing the contrast shortage protocol and for 3 weeks while implementing the protocol. The contrast shortage protocol included not performing perfusion images for MT selection and using diluted iohexol (50% contrast mixed with 50% heparinized saline) during the MT procedure. Procedural variables were compared between the two groups.
Results A total of 27 patients underwent MT during the study period, 12 pre-contrast shortage and 15 post-contrast shortage. The average contrast volume used during the MT procedure was reduced from 83 mL to 68 mL after implementing the contrast shortage protocol (p=0.04). No difference was noted in the rate of successful reperfusion (11/15 vs 10/12), average time to recanalization (21 vs 23 min), average radiation dose (1143 vs 1117mGy) and time under fluoroscopy (20.7 vs 20.5 min) in the pre- and post-contrast shortage groups. A favorable discharge outcome was observed in 3/12 patients and 4/15 patients in the pre- and post-shortage periods, respectively (p=0.92).
Conclusions Modifying stroke workflow to adapt to the current global shortage in iohexol is feasible. Using diluted iohexol (50% contrast mixed with 50% heparinized saline) did not affect MT outcomes.
Data availability statement
The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
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Contributors EA: study design, drafting the manuscript, statistical analysis. MS: revising the manuscript critically for important intellectual content. OL: data collection. CH: revising the manuscript critically for important intellectual content. KPK: revising the manuscript critically for important intellectual content. JRL: revising the manuscript critically for important intellectual content. SA: revising the manuscript critically for important intellectual content. AMS: guaranator, study design, revising the manuscript critically for important intellectual content. All authors have approved this submission to JNIS.
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.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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