Inpatient and Community Ischemic Strokes in a University HospitalDulli D. · Samaniego E.A.
University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison, Wisc., USA
Background: Previous studies have shown that inpatient strokes are common and severe. We sought to characterize the risk factors, stroke subtypes, timing of acute stroke evaluation and frequency of thrombolytic therapy in inpatient ischemic strokes compared with community ischemic strokes. Design/Methods: The hospital records of patients admitted for acute ischemic stroke between 1996 and 2002 were reviewed. Acute stroke was defined as occurrence of stroke symptoms within 72 h, and in-hospital status was assigned if the patient was currently admitted for another illness at the time of the stroke. Patient demographics such as medical versus surgical service, admission diagnoses, clinical features including stroke risk factors, access to thrombolytic therapy and immediate outcome were analyzed. Results: Of 947 patients with acute ischemic stroke, 161 (17.0%) had strokes occurring while already in the hospital (IHIS), compared to 786 (83%) that occurred in the outpatient community (CIS). Approximately two thirds of IHIS occurred on medical services (102, 63.4%) and one third on surgical services (59, 36.7%). Mean age, male gender, atherothrombotic etiology and risk factors including hypertension, diabetes and smoking history were of similar frequencies in IHIS and CIS, but penetrating artery disease was the cause of only 5.6% of IHIS compared to 21.8% of CIS (p < 0.0001). The mean modified Rankin scale for IHIS at presentation was 4.33 ± 0.74, compared to 3.67 ± 1.03 for CIS (p < 0.0001). Of 161 IHIS patients, 21 (13.0%) had neurological assessment within 3 h of symptom onset, compared to 16.0% of CIS patients (p = 0.403, n.s.), and the rate of thrombolytic therapy was not significant between IHIS (3.7%) and CIS (5.6%) patients. Conclusions: IHIS are common and severer than CIS. The use of thrombolytic therapy in IHIS patients was limited because of time of recognition and inpatient-associated conditions. Increased vigilance for timely neurological assessment of these patients is warranted.
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