Introduction: The evolution of stroke treatment has been geared toward thrombolysis and thrombectomy, which requires quick imaging assessment. Various imaging and treatment options are available and current evidence suggests European differences in stroke care. We aimed to describe the patterns of stroke imaging and acute revascularisation therapy and examine variations across countries. Methods: A web-based clinician survey was developed and circulated to clinicians through email distribution lists and websites of European professional societies. Statistical analyses were performed. Results: We received responses from Sweden (21), the UK (16), Hungary (15), Germany (12) and Europe (47). Large variations are observed in revascularisation treatment: German respondents report that 81% of their ischaemic stroke patients diagnosed with a large vessel occlusion within 4.5 h receive intravenous thrombolysis and thrombectomy, compared to 12% reported by the UK-respondents. For patients diagnosed with an extensive ischaemic stroke within 2 h from onset, 75% of UK-respondents state thrombectomy as their preferred revascularisation treatment, but only 13% report to use it. Computed Tomography (CT) is reported as the most widely used first imaging test (for 81% to 93% of patients across geographic areas), while Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a distant second. Conclusion: The diagnostic workup and, to a greater extent, the revascularisation treatments of typical stroke patients vary considerably across European countries. This study reinforces the need to compare the quality of stroke care in terms of process and outcomes between countries. Research is also needed to investigate the cost-effectiveness of second-line imaging strategies in acute stroke care.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Clinical practice variation, Europe, Imaging, Revascularisation treatment, Stroke
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hlpt.2019.08.005, hdl.handle.net/1765/119154
Journal Health Policy and Technology
Citation
Peultier, A.-C. (Anne-Claire), Redekop, W.K, Dippel, D.W.J. (Diederik W.J.), Bereczki, D. (Daniel), Si-Mohamed, S. (S.), Douek, P.C, & Severens, J.L. (2019). What stroke image do we want? European survey on acute stroke imaging and revascularisation treatment. Health Policy and Technology. doi:10.1016/j.hlpt.2019.08.005