Intravenous thrombolysis for ischemic stroke in the Veneto region: the gap between eligibility and reality
Intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) is the treatment of choice for most patients with acute ischemic stroke. According to the recently updated guidelines, IVT should be administered in absence of absolute exclusion criteria. We aimed to assess the proportion of ischemic strokes potentially eligible and actually treated with IVT, and to explore the reasons for not administering IVT. We prospectively collected and analyzed data from 1184 consecutive ischemic stroke patients admitted to the 22 Stroke Units (SUs) of the Veneto region from September 18th to December 10th 2017. Patients were treated with IVT according to the current Italian guidelines. For untreated patients, the reasons for not administering IVT were reported by each center in a predefined model including absolute and/or relative exclusion criteria and other possible reasons. Out of 841 (71%) patients who presented within 4.5 h of stroke onset, 704 (59%) had no other absolute exclusion criteria and were therefore potentially eligible for IVT according to the current guidelines. However, only 323 (27%) patients were eventually treated with IVT. Among 861 (73%) untreated patients, 480 had at least one absolute exclusion criterion, 283 only relative exclusion criteria, 56 only other reasons, and 42 a combination of relative exclusion criteria and other reasons. Our study showed that only 46% (323/704) of the potentially eligible patients were actually treated with IVT in the SUs of the Veneto region. All healthcare professionals involved in the acute stroke pathway should make an effort to bridge this gap between eligibility and reality.
KeywordsIschemic stroke Thrombolysis Guidelines Eligibility Exclusion criteria
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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