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Neurology. 2011 Mar 29;76(13):1145-52. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e318212a8d4. Epub 2011 Mar 2.

Two years of Finnish Telestroke: thrombolysis at spokes equal to that at the hub.

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Department of Neurology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Haartmaninkatu 4, 00290 Helsinki, Finland.



Official guidelines on stroke promote the use of telemedicine via bidirectional videoconferencing equipment, which provides a valid and reliable means of facilitating thrombolysis delivery to patients in distant or rural hospitals.


The present prospective cohort study describes the characteristics and 3-month outcome of the thrombolysis patients treated in 5 community hospitals served by the Helsinki University Central Hospital (HUCH) in a telestroke network during 2007 to 2009. The characteristics and outcome of telestroke thrombolysis patients are compared with consecutive thrombolysis patients (n = 985) treated at HUCH.


A total of 106 consecutive telestroke consultations in 2 years led to IV thrombolysis in 61 patients (57.5%). The median NIH Stroke Scale score was 10 (range 3-26), onset to treatment time 120 minutes (interquartile range [IQR] 49), length of consultation 25 minutes (IQR 18) if the consultation led to thrombolysis and 15 minutes (IQR 10) if not (p = 0.032). The rate of symptomatic intracranial bleedings was 6.7% (4/60) according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke definition. Half (28/57) of the thrombolysis patients with complete follow-up data had a favorable outcome (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] 0-2) and a third (17/57) had an excellent recovery (mRS 0-1). Thus the patients treated with thrombolysis based on teleconsultation had similar outcome with those treated at HUCH (mRS 0-2: 49.1% vs 58.1%, p = 0.214 and mRS 0-1: 17/57 [29.4%] vs 352/957 [36.8%], p = 0.289).


A special feature of the Finnish pilot is the high percentage of consultations leading to thrombolytic treatment with features and results very similar to on-site thrombolysis at the neurologic emergency room of HUCH.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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