Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Utilization of Thrombectomy for Acute Stroke: Analysis of Data from 2016 to 2018

Lorenzo Rinaldo, Alejandro A. Rabinstein, Harry Cloft, John M. Knudsen, Leonardo Rangel Castilla, Waleed Brinjikji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose - Racial and ethnic disparities in the access to mechanical thrombectomy (MT) for treatment of acute ischemic stroke (AIS) secondary to large vessel occlusion have been previously described. The effect of recent randomized trials validating MT as an effective therapy for AIS secondary to large vessel occlusion on such disparities has not been investigated. Methods - Information on admissions for AIS to endovascular centers occurring between January 2016 and September 2018 was obtained from a national database. The number of patients receiving IV-tPA (intravenous tissue-type plasminogen activator) and MT at each institution was determined, and patient demographics were characterized according to age, sex, race/ethnicity, and insurance status. Comparisons of patients who did and did not undergo MT and between patients of different racial and ethnic backgrounds were performed. Demographic variables independently associated with the utilization of MT were identified using multivariate linear regression analysis. Results - There were 206 853 admissions to 173 endovascular centers during the time period of interest. The overall utilization of MT was 8.4%. The utilization of MT for black/Hispanic patients was lower than that among white/non-Hispanic patients (7.0% versus 9.8%; P<0.001). Black/Hispanic patients were also less likely to receive IV-tPA (16.2% versus 20.5%; P<0.001) and to be admitted to the endovascular center after transfer from a different hospital (20.0% versus 30.1%; P<0.001). On multivariate linear regression analysis, increasing institutional proportions of patients with female sex (β=-0.601; P<0.001), insurance with Medicaid or uninsured status (β=-0.153; P=0.029), and black/Hispanic race/ethnicity (β=-0.062; P=0.046) were independently associated with lower institutional utilization of MT. Conclusions - Despite the mainstream acceptance of MT for the treatment of AIS secondary to large vessel occlusion, racial and ethnic disparities in the utilization of MT persist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2428-2432
Number of pages5
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • Insurance
  • Medicaid
  • Patients
  • Regression analysis
  • Thrombectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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