Background: Primary angioplasty has been introduced for the treatment of symptomatic cerebral vasospasm in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). The data regarding the therapeutic benefit of angioplasty in improving patient outcomes are limited, hence its utilization at hospitals remains controversial and currently is not reimbursed by Medicare or major insurance companies.
Methods: We analyzed the data from Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), a nationally representative dataset of all admissions in the United States from 2005 to 2007. We analyzed the prevalence of angioplasty procedure for cerebral vasospasm at the national level. In-hospital mortality, discharge status, length of stay, and cost of hospitalization were compared between hospitals performing angioplasty with those not performing angioplasty in multivariable model, adjusted for patient's age, utilization of endovascular aneurysm obliteration, and disease severity.
Results: Of the 74,356 estimated patients with nontraumatic SAH, 47% (n = 35,172) were admitted to hospitals that perform angioplasty for cerebral vasospasm and only 1307 patients (3.8%) were treated with angioplasty for vasospasm. In multivariable analysis, after adjustment for patient and hospital characteristics, we found that patients admitted to hospitals performing angioplasty had higher rates of discharge to home without supervision (OR 1.3, 95% CI: 1.1-1.6). There was no difference in in-hospital mortality, length of stay, or cost of hospitalization.
Conclusions: Our analysis suggests that the odds of a patient being discharged to home are better at hospitals performing angioplasty for cerebral vasospasm. Provision of angioplasty may be used as a surrogate marker of model of care in management of patients with SAH.