Distinct Short-Term Outcomes in Patients With Mild Versus Rapidly Improving Stroke Not Treated With Thrombolytics

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Abstract

Background and Purpose—

Mild stroke (MS) and rapidly improving stroke (RIS) symptoms are common stroke presentations. Our objective is to describe the short-term outcomes in this population.

Methods—

A retrospective analysis of patients with ischemic stroke in the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke registry who arrived ≤4.5 hours from symptom onset not treated with thrombolytics because of MS and RIS. Outcomes included in-hospital death, home discharge, independent ambulation at discharge, and length of stay; these were analyzed for the categories of MS, RIS, and MS+RIS. Multivariable models evaluated the associations of individual and hospital covariates with outcomes.

Results—

Among 42 394 patients with MS and RIS not treated with thrombolytics, 27% were not discharged directly home, 27.2% did not ambulate independently, and 61.1% had length of stay ≥3 days, despite a low in-hospital mortality of 0.8%. Adjusted outcomes were better for MS+RIS compared with MS; RIS also had better independent ambulation and home discharge compared with MS. Among those with a documented National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, 25% of those with National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale 0 to 5 and half of those with National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale >5 could not be discharged directly to home or ambulate independently. Older individuals, women, blacks, transport by ambulance, delayed arrival, greater severity and greater burden of vascular risk factors, except for dyslipidemia, had worse adjusted outcomes for home discharge and independent ambulation.

Conclusions—

A significant proportion of patients with MS and RIS not treated with thrombolytics have suboptimal discharge outcomes. We found significant differences between MS, RIS, and MS+RIS and identified factors associated with worse outcomes.

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