Inverse National Trends in Decompressive Craniectomy versus Endovascular Thrombectomy for Stroke

Nicolas K. Khattar, Beatrice Ugiliweneza, Enzo M. Fortuny, Shawn W. Adams, Kimberly S. Meyer, Mayur Sharma, Dengzhi Wang, Thomas R. Chandler, Maxwell Boakye, Robert F. James, Dale Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: Endovascular thrombectomy (ET) for acute large vessel occlusion reduces infarct size, and it should hypothetically decrease the incidence of major ischemic strokes requiring decompressive craniectomy (DC). The aim of this retrospective cohort study is to determine trends in the utilization of ET versus DC for stroke in the United States over a 10-year span. Methods: We extracted data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample using International Classification of Diseases−9/10 codes from 2006–2016. Patients with a primary diagnosis of stroke were included. Baseline demographics, outcomes, and hospital charges were analyzed. Results: The study cohort comprised 14,578,654 patients diagnosed with stroke. During the study period, DC and ET were performed in 124,718 and 62,637 patients, respectively. The number of stroke patients who underwent either ET or DC increased by 266% from 2006 to 2016. During that time period, the ET utilization rate increased (0.19% in 2006 to 14.07% in 2016, P < 0.0004), whereas the DC utilization rate decreased (7.07% in 2006 to 6.43% in 2016, P < 0.0001). In 2015, the utilization rate of ET (9.73%) exceeded that of DC (9.67%). ET-treated patients had shorter hospitalization durations (mean 8.8 vs. 16.8 days, P < 0.0001), lower mortality (16.2% vs. 19.3%), higher likelihood of discharge home (27.1% vs. 24.1%, P < 0.0001), and reduced hospital charges (mean $189,724 vs. $261,314, P < 0.0001). Conclusions: We identified an inverse relationship between national trends in rising ET and diminishing DC utilization for stroke treatment over a recent decade. Although direct causation cannot be inferred, our findings suggest that ET curtails the necessity for DC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e642-e651
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.


  • Decompressive craniectomy
  • Mechanical thrombectomy
  • Stroke


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