Timeliness of Tissue-Type Plasminogen Activator Therapy in Acute Ischemic Stroke
Patient Characteristics, Hospital Factors, and Outcomes Associated With Door-to-Needle Times Within 60 Minutes
Background—The benefits of intravenous tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) in acute ischemic stroke are time dependent, and guidelines recommend an arrival to treatment initiation (door-to-needle) time of ≤60 minutes.
Methods and Results—Data from acute ischemic stroke patients treated with tPA within 3 hours of symptom onset in 1082 hospitals participating in the Get With the Guidelines–Stroke Program from April 1, 2003, to September 30, 2009 were studied to determine frequency, patient and hospital characteristics, and temporal trends in patients treated with door-to-needle times ≤60 minutes. Among 25 504 ischemic stroke patients treated with tPA, door-to-needle time was ≤60 minutes in only 6790 (26.6%). Patient factors most strongly associated with door-to-needle time ≤60 minutes were younger age, male gender, white race, or no prior stroke. Hospital factors associated with ≤60 minute door-to-needle time included greater annual volumes of tPA-treated stroke patients. The proportion of patients with door-to-needle times ≤60 minutes varied widely by hospital (0% to 79.2%) and increased from 19.5% in 2003 to 29.1% in 2009 (P<0.0001). Despite similar stroke severity, in-hospital mortality was lower (adjusted odds ratio, 0.78; 95% confidence interval, 0.69 to 0.90; P<0.0003) and symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage was less frequent (4.7% versus 5.6%; P<0.0017) for patients with door-to-needle times ≤60 minutes compared with patients with door-to-needle times >60 minutes.
Conclusions—Fewer than one-third of patients treated with intravenous tPA had door-to-needle times ≤60 minutes, with only modest improvement over the past 6.5 years. These findings support the need for a targeted initiative to improve the timeliness of reperfusion in acute ischemic stroke.
- Received June 24, 2010.
- Accepted December 3, 2010.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.