Thrombolysis With Intravenous Tissue Plasminogen Activator Predicts a Favorable Discharge Disposition in Patients With Acute Ischemic Stroke
Background and Purpose—Acute ischemic stroke patients who receive recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) within 3 hours of symptom onset are 30% more likely to have minimal to no disability at 3 months. During hospitalization, short-term disability is subjectively measured by discharge disposition, whether to home, inpatient rehabilitation, a skilled nursing facility, or subacute care. There are no studies assessing the role of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator use as a predictor of poststroke discharge disposition.
Methods—We conducted a retrospective analysis of all patients with ischemic stroke who presented within the original three hour window for intravenous thrombolysis, and who were admitted to the University of Texas Houston Medical School Stroke Service at Memorial Hermann Hospital - Texas Medical Center between January 2004 and October 2009. Baseline demographics and National Institute of Health Stroke Scale score were collected. Cerebrovascular disease risk factors were used for risk stratification in the multivariate regression.
Results—Out of 2225 patients with acute ischemic stroke, 1019 were discharged to home, 719 to inpatient rehabilitation, 371 to a skilled nursing facility and 116 to subacute care. Patients who received recombinant tissue plasminogen activator therapy were more likely to be discharged home compared to the other levels of care (P<0.0001; OR, 1.945; 95% CI, 1.538 to 2.459). Considering post-acute inpatient rehabilitation versus skilled nursing facility/subacute care and disposition at a skilled nursing facility versus subacute care, there were no differences in disposition between patients who received recombinant tissue plasminogen activator therapy. Inpatient Rehabilitation versus Skilled Nursing Facility or Subacute Care (P = 0.123); Skilled Nursing Facility versus Subacute Care (P = 0.605).
Conclusions—Patients who receive intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator as treatment for acute ischemic stroke are more likely to be discharged directly home after hospitalization. This study is limited by its retrospective nature and the undetermined role of psychosocial factors related to discharge.
- Received September 28, 2010.
- Accepted October 27, 2010.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.