BACKGROUND: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) to treat large vessel occlusion (LVO) in patients with acute, minor stroke (National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) <6) and impact of occlusion site.METHODS: A Markov decision-analytic model was constructed accounting for both costs and outcomes from a societal perspective. Two different management strategies were evaluated: EVT and medical management. Base case analysis was done for three different sites of occlusion: proximal M1, distal M1 and M2 occlusions. One-way, two-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed.RESULTS: Base-case calculation showed EVT to be the dominant strategy in 65-year-old patients with proximal M1 occlusion and NIHSS <6, with lower cost (US$37 229 per patient) and higher effectiveness (1.47 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs)), equivalent to 537 days in perfect health or 603 days in modified Rankin score (mRS) 0-2 health state. EVT is the cost-effective strategy in 92.7% of iterations for patients with proximal M1 occlusion using a willingness-to-pay threshold of US$100 000/QALY. EVT was cost-effective if it had better outcomes in 2%-3% more patients than intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) in absolute numbers (base case difference -16%). EVT was cost-effective when the proportion of M2 occlusions was less than 37.1%.CONCLUSIONS: EVT is cost-effective in patients with minor stroke and LVO in the long term (lifetime horizon), considering the poor outcomes and significant disability associated with non-reperfusion. Our study emphasizes the need for caution in interpreting previous observational studies which concluded similar results in EVT versus medical management in patients with minor stroke due to a high proportion of patients with M2 occlusions in the two strategies.
View details for DOI 10.1136/neurintsurg-2021-018375
View details for PubMedID 35022300