Publication Date



Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association



Prehospital routing of patients with large vessel occlusion (LVO) acute ischemic stroke (AIS) to centers capable of performing endovascular therapy may improve clinical outcomes. Here, we explore whether distance to comprehensive stroke centers (CSCs), stroke severity, and sex are associated with direct‐to‐CSC prehospital routing in patients with LVO AIS.

Methods and Results

In this cross‐sectional study, we identified consecutive patients with LVO AIS from a prospectively collected multihospital registry throughout the greater Houston area from January 2019 to June 2020. Primary outcome was prehospital routing to CSC and was compared between men and women using modified Poisson regression including age, sex, race or ethnicity, first in‐hospital National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score, travel time, and distances to the closest primary stroke center and CSC. Among 503 patients with LVO AIS, 413 (82%) were routed to CSCs, and women comprised 46% of the study participants. Women with LVO AIS compared with men were older (73 versus 65, P<0.01) and presented with greater National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score (14 versus 12, P=0.01). In modified Poisson regression, women were 9% less likely to be routed to CSCs compared with men (adjusted relative risk [aRR], 0.91 [0.84–0.99], P=0.024) and distance to nearest CSC ≤10 miles was associated with 38% increased chance of routing to CSC (aRR, 1.38 [1.26–1.52], P<0.001).


Despite presenting with more significant stroke syndromes and living within comparable distance to CSCs, women with LVO AIS were less likely to be routed to CSCs compared with men. Further study of the mechanisms behind this disparity is needed.


acute ischemic stroke, comprehensive stroke center, emergency medical services, large vessel occlusion, sex differences, Cerebrovascular Procedures, Ischemic Stroke



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