Pre-hospital delay in acute stroke is critical to the administration of thrombolysis and affects patients' clinical outcome. In this study, the impact of pre-hospital delay on the outcome of ischemic stroke was investigated in an Italian cohort of patients who did not receive thrombolysis.
Data from a cohort of 1847 patients, suffering from first-ever ischemic stroke and referred to an in-hospital clinical pathway were analyzed retrospectively. The relationship between pre-hospital delay and 1-month mortality was assessed with adjustment for demographics, premorbid disability, and stroke severity, which was graded according to the Scandinavian Stroke Scale, with higher scores indicating less severity.
Five hundred and twelve patients (27.7%) arrived at hospital within 2 hours of symptom onset. A significant correlation was found between early arrival and a reduced risk of 1-month mortality (hazard ratio .65; 95% confidence interval .48-.89; P = .02). There was a significant interaction (P = .01) between pre-hospital delay and the neurological score on mortality in the multivariate model, and the survival advantage of early admission was significant only for patients with scores on the Scandinavian Stroke Scale less than 18 (hazard ratio .54; 95% confidence interval .34-.85; P = .008).
Our study suggests that reducing pre-hospital delay can increase the probability of survival in patients with ischemic stroke, especially those who are most severely affected. Even if the patients cannot benefit from thrombolysis, survival rates can be increased provided that they are managed according to standardized care processes.
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Published online: March 24, 2016
Accepted: February 24, 2016
Received in revised form: February 5, 2016
Received: August 30, 2015
© 2016 National Stroke Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.