Acute ischaemic stroke: a systematic review of the cost-effectiveness of emergency endovascular therapy using mechanical thrombectomy

  • Conor TeljeurEmail author
  • Patricia Harrington
  • Ronan W. Glynn
  • Máirín Ryan
Review Article



Although good evidence exists regarding the clinical effectiveness of mechanical thrombectomy for people with acute ischaemic stroke, cost-effectiveness should also be considered. The aim of this study was to systematically review the evidence of cost-effectiveness of emergency endovascular therapy using mechanical thrombectomy in the management of acute ischaemic stroke.


The search was carried out in PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and a grey literature search. Studies were included if they compared the costs and consequences of mechanical thrombectomy added to usual medical care compared to usual care alone for people with acute ischaemic stroke in the anterior and/or posterior region. Study quality was assessed using two appraisal tools tailored to economic evaluations.


Thirteen studies were identified including twelve cost-utility analyses and one cost-benefit analysis. Studies could be dichotomised into those that evaluated first-generation (n = 4) and second-generation (n = 9) mechanical thrombectomy devices. Six studies had low applicability, six had moderate applicability, and one had high applicability to other settings. All cost-utility studies reported incremental cost-effectiveness ratios that would be considered cost-effective under typical willingness-to-pay thresholds.


If the outcomes of the trials underpinning the evidence of clinical effectiveness can be replicated, then mechanical thrombectomy is likely to be cost-effective by typical willingness-to-pay thresholds. This finding holds under the assumption that no investment is required to develop stroke centres to the standard required to provide a safe emergency endovascular service and that additional expenditure on timely patient transport is not required.


Cost-effectiveness Cost-utility Endovascular therapy Ischaemic stroke Mechanical thrombectomy Systematic review 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11845_2018_1946_MOESM1_ESM.docx (45 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 45 kb)


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Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Conor Teljeur
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Patricia Harrington
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ronan W. Glynn
    • 1
  • Máirín Ryan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Health Information and Quality AuthorityDublinIreland
  2. 2.Trinity College DublinDublinIreland

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