Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)
Background and Purpose Given the relatively short duration and multiple facets of education, both interventional and diagnostic neuroradiology fellowships must be used efficiently. As hospital systems utilize resources to provide clinical care of patients with COVID-19, the overall number of elective neurointerventional procedures has been limited and the overall volume of diagnostic imaging has decreased. This article will evaluate and discuss the impact of procedural volumes between two academic centers, the impact on overall diagnostic neuroradiology imaging volume, and the rapid migration to online web-based education and research collaboration on both interventional and diagnostic neuroradiology fellowship experiences in the COVID-19 era.
Material and methods A retrospective review was conducted at two academic tertiary care hospitals to evaluate the change in overall elective and emergent neurointerventional case volume during the COVID-19 pandemic spanning from January 2020 - April 2020 and those volumes were compared to pre-COVID-19 case volume during January 2019-April 2019. A single center comparison of annual neurointerventional case numbers during 2019 and 2020 was performed with sub-analyses of case types. Annual diagnostic neuroradiology imaging volume was also evaluated for 2019 and 2020.
Results Both tertiary care academic medical centers experienced a statistically significant decrease in the number of elective neurointerventional cases between March - April 2019 and March - April 2020. There was also a statistical different decrease in elective case volume during the fourth quarter of the 2020 academic year (April - June). A statistically significant decrease in case volume was not seen in the setting of thrombectomy for acute ischemic stroke. A statistically significant decrease in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) case volume was only seen at site #2. Between 2019 and 2020 there was a 32% drop in neuroradiology case volume during the fourth quarter of the 2020 academic year (April - June). Similar sizable decreases in diagnostic neuroradiology case volume were not appreciated in the remaining quarters of 2019 and 2020.
Conclusion Elective neurointerventional case numbers decreased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly impacting the fourth quarter of the 2019-2020 academic year (April - June). Similarly, there was a sizable decrease in diagnostic neuroradiology case volume during this same time period. The decrease in procedural and diagnostic neuroradiology cases raised concerns regarding the educational experience for both diagnostic and neurointerventional radiology fellows. However, as a result of decreased case volume, fellowship education was rapidly augmented with a wide variety of online webinars, lectures, case conferences, and research collaborations.
Wilseck Z, Copelan AZ, Wilseck JM, Srinivasan A, Pandey A, Gemmete JJ, et al. E-085 Interventional and diagnostic neuroradiology fellowship education in the COVID-19 era. 107th Annual Radiological Society of North America (RSNA); 2021 November 28 - December 2, 2021; Chicago, IL.