Background: 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake in 2016 is characterized by a huge foreshock of magnitude-6.5, a magnitude-7.3 mainshock, and numerous, sustained aftershocks.
Objective: To elucidate the influence of the Kumamoto Earthquake to ischemic stroke by investigating acute stroke patients who were admitted to the acute hospital located closest to the epicenter of the foreshock and mainshock during 1 month.
Methods: Acute ischemic stroke patients within 7 days of onset who were admitted during April 14 and May 13, 2016, and those admitted in the same period in 2015 were investigated. Patients’ characteristics, stroke severity, subtype, onset-admission time, and laboratory data were compared between 2015 and 2016.
Results: A number of acute ischemic stroke patients increased by 1.2 times from 43 (14 women) to 69 (27 women), and age was younger in 2016 (median, 72 years; interquartile range, 65-81) than in 2015 (78; 67-85; p = 0.042). No differences were observed in background characteristics, vital signs, stroke severity, or stroke subtype between the two years. Onset-to-admission time was longer in 2016 than in 2015 (951 vs. 441 minutes, p = 0.023). Among laboratory data, platelet count was higher after the earthquake, whereas other data were similar in the two years.
Conclusions: Number of ischemic stroke admitted to the closest to the epicenter increased than the previous year and the time from onset to admission prolonged. These data indicate that patients were transferred from wider area after huge earthquakes. An increment of platelet was the only change observed in laboratory data after the earthquake. Multicenter, longitudinal observation would be needed to clarify the effect of the earthquake to cerebrovascular events.