|| Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid
The presentation of endovascular stroke trials at international stroke conference was a land mark event in acute stroke therapy. This study aims to analyze the rates of utilization of IV r-tPA, with or without mechanical thrombectomy before and after the 2015 International Stroke Conference (ISC) in a large regional tele-stroke network.Methods: A systematic review of prospective telestroke and procedure database was performed for 18 months prior and 18 months post conference. There were three groups included in the analysis. The first group consisted ischemic stroke patients presented within 12 hours of onset including inpatient events, transfers from primary centers and rural clinics. The second group consisted of patients who received IV r-tPA, and the third group consisted of patients who received IV r-tPA and/or underwent mechanical thrombectomy for a demonstrated LVO.Results: A total of 2628 consecutive ischemic stroke events presented within 12 hours of onset were evaluated. In the pre-ISC conference group, there were 1135 ischemic stroke patients. IV r-tPA was given 535 times(47.1%) and mechanical thrombectomy was utilized in addition to IV r-tPA or alone 42 times(3.7%). In the post-ISC conference group, there were 1493 ischemic stroke patients. IV r-tPA was given 642 times(43%) and mechanical thrombectomy was utilized in addition to IV r-tPA or alone 132 times(8.84%). The Chi Square statistical test was performed comparing these groups. When comparing the rate of IV r-tPA usage, there was a significant decrease from the pre-ISC conference group to the post-ISC conference group (P= 0.04). When comparing the rate of mechanical thrombectomy performed, there was a significant increase of greater than double the percentage of thrombectomy procedures performed in the post conference group compared to the preconference group (p< 0.001).Conclusion: There was a significant decrease in IV r-tPA usage but a greater than double the increase in the thrombectomy rate . This may be secondary to increased awareness of benefit of thrombectomy at referral centers. Slightly lower rates of IV r-tPA usage may be secondary to an increase in transfers of patients outside of the 0-4.5 hr window but were deemed candidates for thrombectomy.