New recommendations for mechanical thrombectomy in acute ischemic stroke suggest that thrombectomy should be considered for eligible patients with a large artery occlusion in the anterior circulation within 6 hours of stroke onset. The resources are unevenly spread and, in order to be able to meet a potentially increased demand, we have estimated the future need for thrombectomy.Methods
The new treatment recommendations are similar to those that have been in use at the Karolinska University Hospital since 2007. Using our local thrombectomy data (2009–2011), we calculated the proportion of thrombectomies performed at our hospital by level of stroke severity according to the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score (0–5, 6–11, 12–19, and 20–35). We then estimated the total number of potential thrombectomies expected in Sweden by extrapolating our treatment proportions to the rest of Sweden through the use of data from the Swedish National Stroke Registry.Results
The number of potential thrombectomies would have been more than five times higher (1268 estimated compared with 232 actually reported in the National Stroke Registry) if the new recommendations for thrombectomy in acute ischemic stroke had been implemented in 2013 (the year from which we had the most recent available data from the Swedish Stroke Registry).Conclusions
When the new recommendations are implemented broadly, there may be a substantial increase in demand for thrombectomies. Our study highlights the need for policymakers and healthcare professionals to prepare for the increasing demands for advanced endovascular stroke treatment.