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BACKGROUND: There is level 1 evidence for cerebral thrombectomy with thrombolysis in acute large vessel occlusion. Many hospitals are now contemplating setting up this life-saving service. For the hospital, however, the first treatment is associated with an initial high cost to cover the procedure. Whilst the health economic benefit of treating stroke is documented, this is the only study to date performing matched-pair, patient-level costing to determine treatment cost within the first hospital episode and up to 90 days post-event. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective coarsened exact matched-pair analysis of 50 acute stroke patients eligible for thrombectomy. RESULTS: Thrombectomy resulted in significantly more good outcomes (mRS 0-2) compared to matched controls (56% vs 8%, p = 0.001). More patients in the thrombectomy group could be discharged home (60% vs 28%), fewer were discharged to nursing homes (4% vs 16%), residential homes (0% vs 12%) or rehabilitation centres (8% vs 20%). Thrombectomy patients had fewer serious adverse events (n = 30 vs 86) and were, on average, discharged 36 days earlier. They required significantly fewer physiotherapy sessions (18.72 vs 46.49, p = 0.0009) resulting in a median reduction in total rehabilitation cost of £4982 (p = 0.0002) per patient. The total cost of additional investigations was £227 lower (p = 0.0369). Overall, the median cost without thrombectomy was £39,664 per case vs £22,444, resulting in median savings of £17,221 (p = 0.0489). CONCLUSIONS: Mechanical thrombectomy improved patient outcome, reduced length of hospitalisation and, even without procedural reimbursement, significantly reduced cost to the thrombectomy providing hospital.

Original publication




Journal article


Cost eff resour alloc

Publication Date





Acute stroke, Cost-effectiveness, Health economics, Length of stay, Matched-pair analysis, Patient-level costing, Thrombectomy