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A literature review of cost-effectiveness of intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator for treating acute ischemic stroke
  • Published Date:
    April 28 2017
  • Source:
    Stroke Vasc Neurol. 2(2):73-83
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-801.54 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Stroke Vasc Neurol
  • Description:

    Intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (IV rtPA) is recommended treatment for acute ischemic stroke patients, but the cost-effectiveness of IV rtPA within different time windows after the onset of acute ischemic stroke is not well reviewed.


    To conduct a literature review of the cost-effectiveness studies about IV rtPA by treatment times.

    Summary of review

    A literature search was conducted using MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and Cochrane Library, with the key words acute ischemic stroke, tissue plasminogen activator, cost, economic benefit, saving, and incremental cost-effectiveness analysis. The review is limited to original research articles published during 1995–2016 in English-language peer-reviewed journals. We found 16 studies meeting our criteria for this review. Nine of them were cost-effectiveness studies of IV rtPA treatment within 0–3 hours after stroke onset, 2 studies within 3–4.5 hours, 3 studies within 0–4.5 hours, and 2 study within 0–6 hours. IV rtPA is a cost-saving or a cost-effectiveness strategy from most of the study results. Only one study showed incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of IV rtPA within one year was marginally above $50,000 per QALY threshold. IV rtPA within 0–3 hours after stroke led to cost savings for lifetime or 30 years, and IV rtPA within 3–4.5 hours after stroke increased costs but still was cost-effective.


    The literature generally showed that intravenous IV rtPA was a dominant or a cost-effective strategy compared to traditional treatment for acute ischemic stroke patients without IV rtPA. The findings from the literature lacked generalizability because of limited data and various assumptions.

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