In the Spotlight
International neurointerventional societies outline new criteria for facilities that treat stroke
September 10, 2018  - 

 Fairfax, Va. - The Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS) today joined 12 other neurointerventional societies to release new guidelines outlining the criteria for Level 1, 2 and 3 stroke centers that provide acute ischemic stroke interventions (AISIs) to stroke patients. The standards are published in the September issue of the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery.

Acute ischemic stroke caused by emergent large vessel occlusion (ELVO) is the leading cause of adult disability in the world. Recent studies have shown that neuroendovascular stroke surgery significantly improves outcomes in ELVO patients, especially if the patient receives the surgery in a timely fashion. To ensure positive patient outcomes, it is critical to ensure that facilities can provide the proper care to stroke patients in a safe and timely manner.

For the first time, the societies have specified criteria for Level 1, 2 and 3 stroke centers--terminology they believe will help health providers and the public better understand the capabilities of stroke treatment facilities. Level 1 centers need to offer the full spectrum of neuroendovascular services, including neuroendovascular stroke surgery. In addition to other requirements, these centers need to treat a minimum of 250 stroke patients per year and perform a minimum of 50 thrombectomies per year.

"ELVO patients should be taken to Level 1 stroke centers. Establishing guidelines for Level 2 stroke centers gives patients a chance at the best possible outcome in underserved regions," said Dr. Adam Arthur, president of SNIS and a neurointerventionalist at the Semmes-Murphey Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee. "These guidelines, issued by this eminent group of organizations, will help facilities around the world maintain the highest standard of care for stroke patients."

The guidelines recommend that Level 2 stroke centers see a minimum of 100 stroke patients per year and perform a minimum of 50 thrombectomies per year. Each neurointerventionalist in a Level 2 center should perform a minimum of 15 acute intracranial thrombectomies per year.

The guidelines recognize the challenges that newly created Level 2 stroke centers could face in meeting the minimum volume criteria for procedures. They allow for these centers to operate below the minimum threshold numbers as long as they expect to hit their volumes within 12 to 24 months.

The purpose of these guidelines is not to serve as a substitute for existing national and regional guidelines, but rather to outline the best recommendations based on expert opinions and the most current evidence available in stroke care around the world.

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The following societies contributed to the development of these guidelines: Asian-Australian Federation of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology (AAFITN), Australian and New Zealand Society of Neuroradiology (ANZSNR), American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR), Canadian Society of Neuroradiology (CSNR), European Society of Minimally Invasive Neurological Therapy (ESMINT), European Society of Neuroradiology (ESNR), European Stroke Organisation (ESO), Japanese Society for NeuroEndovascular Therapy (JSNET), Ibero-Latin American Society of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Neuroradiology (SILAN), Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS), Society of Vascular and Interventional Neurology (SVIN), World Stroke Organization (WSO), and World Federation of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology (WFITN).

About the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery

The Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS) is a scientific and educational association dedicated to advancing the specialty of neurointerventional surgery through research, standard-setting, and education and advocacy to provide the highest quality of patient care in diagnosing and treating diseases of the brain, spine, head and neck. Visit http://www.snisonline.org and follow us on Twitter (@SNISinfo) and Facebook (@SNISOnline).