Target Door-to-Needle Time for Tissue Plasminogen Activator Treatment with Magnetic Resonance Imaging Screening Can Be Reduced to 45 min

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Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to demonstrate that the median door-to-needle (DTN) time for intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) treatment can be reduced to 45 min in a primary stroke centre with MRI-based screening for acute ischaemic stroke (AIS). Methods: From February 2015 to February 2017, the stroke unit of Perpignan general hospital, France, implemented a quality-improvement (QI) process. During this period, patients who received tPA within 4.5 h after AIS onset were included in the QI cohort. Their clinical characteristics and timing metrics were compared each semester and also with those of 135 consecutive patients with AIS treated by tPA during the 1-year pre-QI period (pre-QI cohort). Results: In the QI cohort, 274 patients (92.5%) underwent MRI screening. While the demographic and baseline characteristics were not significantly different between cohorts, the median DTN time was significantly lower in the QI than in the pre-QI cohort (52 vs. 84 min; p < 0.00001). Within the QI cohort, the median DTN time for each semester decreased from 65 to 44 min (p < 0.00001) and the proportion of treated patients with a DTN time ≤45 min increased from 25 to 58.9% (p < 0.0001). Overall, DTN time improvement was associated with a better outcome at 3 months (patients with a modified Rankin Scale score between 0 and 2: 61.8% in the QI vs. 39.3% in the pre-QI cohort; p < 0.0001). Conclusions: A QI process can reduce the DTN within 45 min with MRI as a screening tool.

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