Adaptive Approach to Endovascular Management of Large Vessel Occlusion During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Academic Article


  • Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented strain on the health care system. An adaptive strategy for the handling of thrombectomy for patients with large vessel occlusion has evolved at our center to optimize patient care while also minimizing risk of virus transmission. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of the new thrombectomy protocol by comparing thrombectomy times and patient outcomes during the pandemic and pre pandemic period. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted on patients who underwent emergent thrombectomy from April 4th, 2020 to August 25th, 2020 (pandemic period) and between December 2nd, 2019 to April 3rd, 2020 (pre-pandemic period). The new protocol centered on a standardized approach to airway management in patients considered ‘high-risk’ for infection. An array of patient-specific factors and outcomes were compared between the two groups. Results: A total of 126 patients were included in the study. There was no significant difference in door-to-recanalization or other time parameters between the two groups (138 minutes during the pandemic vs. 129 minutes pre-pandemic; p=0.37). However, outcomes measured as discharge modified Rankin Scale (mRS) were worse for patients during the pandemic (mRS ≤ 2, 10/58; 17.2% during pandemic vs. 24/68; 35.3% pre-pandemic, p = 0.02). No neurointerventional providers have been found to contract COVID-19. Conclusion: Our approach to mechanical thrombectomy during the COVID-19 era was associated with similar recanalization rates but worse clinical outcomes compared to pre pandemic period. Further studies are necessary to identify factors contributing to worse outcomes during this ongoing pandemic.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Tabibian BE; Howell SG; Salehani A; Bakradze E; Harrigan M
  • Volume

  • 30
  • Issue

  • 5