Stroke. 2022 Jul 26:101161STROKEAHA122038491. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.122.038491. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: In 2015, endovascular therapy (EVT) for large vessel occlusions became standard of care for acute ischemic stroke. Lower utilization of IV alteplase has been reported in women, but whether sex differences in EVT use in the United States exists has not been established.
METHODS: We identified all acute ischemic stroke discharges from Get With The Guidelines-Stroke hospitals between 2012 and 2019 who were potentially eligible for EVT, based on National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score ≥6 and arrival <6 hours, according to 2018 American Heart Association/ASA guidelines. Multivariable regression analyses were used to determine the association between sex and EVT utilization, and outcomes (including mortality, discharge home, functional status) after EVT. Separate analyses were conducted for the 2 time periods: 2012 to 2014, and 2015 to 2019.
RESULTS: Of 302 965 patients potentially eligible for EVT, 42 422 (14%) received EVT. Before 2015, EVT treatment rates were 5.3% in women and 6.6% in men. From 2015 to 2019, treatment rates increased in both sexes to 16.7% in women and 18.5% in men. The adjusted odds ratio for EVT in women compared with men was 0.93 (95% CI, 0.87-0.99) before 2015, and 0.98 (95% CI, 0.96-1.01) after 2015. There were no significant sex differences in outcomes except that after 2015, women were less able to ambulate at discharge (adjusted odds ratio, 0.95 [95% CI, 0.95-0.99]) and had lower in-hospital mortality (adjusted odds ratio, 0.93 [95% CI, 0.88-0.99]).
CONCLUSIONS: EVT utilization has increased dramatically in both women and men since EVT approval in 2015. Following statistical adjustment, women were less likely to receive EVT initially, but after 2015, women were as likely as men to receive EVT. After EVT, women were more likely to be disabled at discharge but less likely to experience in-hospital death compared with men.