The cost of providing mechanical thrombectomy in the UK NHS: A micro-costing study

Joyce Balami, D. Coughlan, Phil White, Peter McMeeking, Darren Flynn, I Natarajan, J Chembala, I Wiggam, P. Flynn, A Dixit, Hannah Lumley, S. Rice, David Burgess, Dawn Craig, Martin A. James, A Buchan, Gary A. Ford, Alastair Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction The clinical efficacy and cost-effectiveness of mechanical thrombectomy (MT) for the treatment of large vessel occlusion stroke is well established, but uncertainty remains around the true cost of delivering this treatment within the NHS. The aim of this study was to establish the cost of providing MT within the hyperacute phase of care and to explore differences in resources used and costs across different neuroscience centres in the UK. Method This was a multicentre retrospective study using micro-costing methods to enable a precise assessment of the costs of MT from an NHS perspective. Data on resources used and their costs were collected from five UK neuroscience centres between 2015 and 2018. Results Data were collected on 310 patients with acute ischaemic stroke treated with MT. The mean total cost of providing MT and inpatient care within 24 hours was £10,846 (95% confidence interval (CI) 10,527–11,165) per patient. The main driver of cost was MT procedure costs, accounting for 73% (£7,943; 95% CI 7,649–8,237) of the total 24-hour cost. Costs were higher for patients treated under general anaesthesia (£11,048; standard deviation (SD) 2,654) than for local anaesthesia (£9,978; SD 2,654), mean difference £1,070 (95% CI 381–1,759; p=0.003); admission to an intensive care unit (ICU; £12,212; SD 3,028) against for admission elsewhere (£10,179; SD 2,415), mean difference £2,032 (95% CI 1,345–2,719; p<0001). The mean cost within 72 hours was £12,440 (95% CI 10,628–14,252). The total costs for the duration of inpatient care before discharge from a thrombectomy centre was £14,362 (95% CI 13,603–15,122). Conclusions Major factors contributing to costs of MT for stroke include consumables and staff for intervention, use of general anaesthesia and ICU admissions. These findings can inform the reimbursement, provision and strategic planning of stroke services and aid future economic evaluations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e40-45
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2020


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