Background: Acute stroke care represents a challenge for decision makers. Recent randomized trials showed the benefits of endovascular therapy. Our goal was to provide a visual aid tool to guide clinicians in the decision process of endovascular intervention in patients with acute ischemic stroke. Methods: We created visual plots (Cates’ plots; representing benefits of standard of care vs. endovascular thrombectomy from the pooled analysis of five RCTs using stent retrievers. These plots represent the following clinically relevant outcomes (1) functionally independent state (modified Rankin scale (mRS) 0 to 2 at 90 days) (2) excellent recovery (mRS 0–1) at 90 days, (3) NIHSS 0–2 (4) early neurological recovery, and (5) revascularization at 24 h. Subgroups visually represented include time to treatment and baseline stroke severity strata. Results: Overall, 1287 patients (634 assigned to endovascular thrombectomy, 653 assigned to control were included to create the visual plots. Cates’ visual plots revealed that for every 100 patients with acute ischemic stroke and large vessel occlusion, 27 would achieve independence at 90 days (mRS 0–2) in the control group compared to 49 (95% CI 43–56) in the intervention group. Similarly, 21 patients would achieve early neurological recovery at 24 h compared to 54 (95% CI 45–63) out of 100 for the intervention group. Conclusion: Cates’ plots may assist clinicians and patients to visualize and compare potential outcomes after an acute ischemic stroke. Our results suggest that for every 100 treated individuals with an acute ischemic stroke and a large vessel occlusion, endovascular thrombectomy would provide 22 additional patients reaching independency at three months and 33 more patients achieving ENR compared to controls.

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International Journal of Stroke
Department of Neurology

Saposnik, G., Goyal, M., Majoie, C., Dippel, D., Roos, Y., Demchuk, A. (Andrew), … Hill, M. (2016). Visual aid tool to improve decision making in acute stroke care. International Journal of Stroke, 11(8), 868–873. doi:10.1177/1747493016666090