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BACKGROUND: Recent randomized trials have suggested that endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) alone may provide similar functional outcomes as the current standard of care, EVT combined with intravenous alteplase treatment, for acute ischemic stroke secondary to large vessel occlusion. We conducted an economic evaluation of these 2 therapeutic options. METHODS: We constructed a decision analytic model with a hypothetical cohort of 1000 patients to assess the cost-effectiveness of EVT with intravenous alteplase treatment versus EVT alone for acute ischemic stroke secondary to large vessel occlusion from both the societal and public health care payer perspectives. We used studies and data published in 2009-2021 for model inputs, and acquired cost data for Canada and China, representing high- and middle-income countries, respectively. We calculated incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) using a lifetime horizon and accounted for uncertainty using 1-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses. All costs are reported in 2021 Canadian dollars. RESULTS: In Canada, the difference in quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) gained between EVT with alteplase and EVT alone was 0.10 from both the societal and health care payer perspectives. The difference in cost was $2847 from a societal perspective and $2767 from the payer perspective. In China, the difference in QALYs gained was 0.07 from both perspectives, and the difference in cost was $1550 from the societal perspective and $1607 from the payer perspective. One-way sensitivity analyses showed that the distributions of modified Rankin Scale scores at 90 days after stroke were the most influential factor on ICERs. For Canada, compared to EVT alone, the probability that EVT with alteplase would be cost-effective at a willingness-to-pay threshold of $50 000 per QALY gained was 58.7% from a societal perspective and 58.4% from a payer perspective. The corresponding values for at a willingness-to-pay threshold of $47 185 (3 times the Chinese gross domestic product per capita in 2021) were 65.2% and 67.4%. INTERPRETATION: For patients with acute ischemic stroke due to large vessel occlusion eligible for immediate treatment with both EVT alone and EVT with intravenous alteplase treatment, it is uncertain whether EVT with alteplase is cost-effective compared to EVT alone in Canada and China.

Original publication






Publication Date





E443 - E450


Humans, Tissue Plasminogen Activator, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Ischemic Stroke, Canada, Thrombectomy