Introduction: Anterior circulation large vessel occlusion (ACLVO) stroke is one of the most devastating stroke subtypes. Significant recent advances, including endovascular thrombectomy, have markedly improved ACLVO stroke outcomes. The economic burden of ACLVO stroke treatment is now an important consideration. Our study investigates the critical determinants of acute inpatient rehabilitation (AIR) cost in ACLVO stroke.
Methods: We utilized comprehensive patient-level cost-tracking software to calculate AIR costs for ACLVO stroke patients at our institution between July 2012-October 2014. Cost was calculated from the hospital perspective. Patient demographics, clinical course, neurologic exam, and imaging findings were analyzed. Variables with p-value <0.20 in univariate analysis were included in multivariable analysis to determine significant predictors of AIR cost (p<0.05).
Results: 65 patients were included in our analysis (median age 61 [IQR 54-73], median AIR admit NIHSS 12 [6-16]). Univariate analysis results are shown (Figure). In our multivariable analysis the only statistically significant predictors of AIR cost were the patient’s final infarct volume (p<0.001) and intubation >48 hours during the hospitalization (p=0.044). AIR costs increased by $66.46 for every 1 cubic centimeter increase in infarct volume.
Conclusion: Infarct volume and intubation >48 hours were significant predictors of AIR cost in ACLVO stroke patients at our institution. ACLVO stroke interventions that limit infarct volume may decrease AIR costs, in addition to avoidance of intubation and aggressive pursuit of extubation when feasible.