Decompressive hemicraniectomy for stroke by race/ethnicity in the United States

eNeurologicalSci. 2022 Sep 8;29:100421. doi: 10.1016/j.ensci.2022.100421. eCollection 2022 Dec.


Objective: Racial and ethnic differences in the performance of indicated neurosurgical procedures have been reported. However, it is not clear whether there are racial or ethnic differences in the performance of decompressive hemicraniectomy (DHC) for acute ischemic stroke. This study evaluated the rate, trends, and independent association of race and ethnicity with DHC among hospitalized ischemic stroke patients in the United States.

Materials and methods: We used the International Classification of Diseases, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) to identify adult patients (18-year-old and older) with a primary discharge diagnosis of ischemic stroke, excluding those with a posterior circulation ischemic stroke in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample between 2006 and 2014. We computed the rate and trends of DHC. We then applied a multivariable logistic regression model to evaluate the independent association of race with DHC.

Results: A total 715,649 patients had anterior ischemic stroke, including 1514 who underwent DHC (2.1 per 1000). The rate of DHC increased overall from 1 per 1000 in 2006 to 3 per 1000 in 2014. Similar upward trends were noted among Non-Hispanic Whites, Non-Hispanic Blacks, and Hispanics. Hispanics with anterior ischemic stroke were 1.28 times more likely than non-Hispanic Whites to have DHC but no difference was observed between Non-Hispanic Blacks and Non-Hispanic Whites.

Conclusions: In this nationally representative sample of patients with anterior ischemic strokes, being of Hispanic ethnicity was independently associated with a higher frequency of receiving DHC compared to being Non-Hispanic White. Future studies should confirm this difference and explore the underlying reasons for it.

Keywords: Ethnicity; Hemicraniectomy; Race; Stroke; United States.