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Radiology. 2003 Sep;228(3):659-68.

Stroke: Effect of implementing an evaluation and treatment protocol compliant with NINDS recommendations.

Author information

1
Institute for Technology Assessment and Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Zero Emerson Bldg, Suite 2H, Boston, MA 02114, USA. james@mgh-ita.org

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To evaluate--relative to routine clinical practice--the potential cost-effectiveness of implementing a strategy compliant with National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) recommendations for care of patients presenting with signs and symptoms of acute ischemic stroke.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A discrete-event simulation model of the process of stroke care from symptom onset through administration of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) was constructed. A literature review was performed to determine process times, performance of computed tomography (CT), health outcomes, and cost estimates. The following were compared: (a) a "base-case" strategy determined on the basis of findings in the literature and (b) a NINDS-compliant strategy (ie, evaluation by emergency physician in less than 10 minutes, interpretation of CT scans within 45 minutes, and administration of tPA within 1 hour after presentation). Strategies were compared with regard to cost and effectiveness. Sensitivity analyses were performed for all relevant cost, timing, and resource parameters. Outcomes of concern were quality-adjusted life years and number of patients treated within a 3-hour therapeutic window.

RESULTS:

The NINDS-compliant strategy resulted in an average quality-adjusted life years value of 3.64, versus 3.63 for the base case, at an approximate cost of 434 US dollars per patient. The NINDS-compliant strategy increased the proportion of treatable patients from 1.4% to 3.7% and remained cost-effective for expenditures of up to 450 US dollars per patient. Assuming base-case parameters are used, increasing the number of CT scanners from two to eight raised the proportion of treatable patients to 1.5%. Increasing the number of available neurologists from four to eight raised the proportion to 1.44%. Reducing the time from stroke onset to emergency department arrival by 30 minutes raised the proportion to up to 7.7%.

CONCLUSION:

Applying NINDS recommendations is potentially cost-effective, although reducing the time from stroke onset to emergency department arrival may be even more so.

PMID:
12954888
DOI:
10.1148/radiol.2283021557
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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