(Abstract from PubMed)
"Background: Unprecedented workflow shifts during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have contributed to delays in acute care delivery, but whether it adversely affected endovascular thrombectomy metrics in acute large vessel occlusion (LVO) is unknown.
Methods: We performed a retrospective review of observational data from 14 comprehensive stroke centers in nine US states with acute LVO. EVT metrics were compared between March to July 2019 against March to July 2020 (primary analysis), and between state-specific pre-peak and peak COVID-19 months (secondary analysis), with multivariable adjustment.
Results: Of the 1364 patients included in the primary analysis (51% female, median NIHSS 14 [IQR 7-21], and 74% of whom underwent EVT), there was no difference in the primary outcome of door-to-puncture (DTP) time between the 2019 control period and the COVID-19 period (median 71 vs 67 min, P=0.10). After adjustment for variables associated with faster DTP, and clustering by site, there remained a trend toward shorter DTP during the pandemic (ßadj=-73.2, 95% CI -153.8-7.4, Pp=0.07). There was no difference in DTP times according to local COVID-19 peaks vs pre-peak months in unadjusted or adjusted multivariable regression (ßadj=-3.85, 95% CI -36.9-29.2, P=0.80). In this final multivariable model (secondary analysis), faster DTP times were significantly associated with transfer from an outside institution (ßadj=-46.44, 95% CI -62.8 to - -30.0, P<0.01) and higher NIHSS (ßadj=-2.15, 95% CI -4.2to - -0.1, P=0.05).
Conclusions: In this multi-center study, there was no delay in EVT among patients treated for intracranial occlusion during the COVID-19 era compared with the pre-COVID era.