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Scott Med J. 2012 Nov;57(4):209-11. doi: 10.1258/smj.2012.012119. Epub 2012 Sep 21.

Non-stroke admissions to a hyperacute stroke unit.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.


A significant proportion of patients presenting to hyperacute stroke units (HSUs) are diagnosed with non-stroke (NS). This study aimed to assess the rate and diagnoses of NS patients admitted to a HSU and the implications for clinical service provision. Admissions to the HSU at the Southern General Hospital, Glasgow, were retrospectively assessed (March 2007-September 2007). NS patients were identified by two parallel ascertainment methods and NS diagnosis was confirmed by case-note and discharge letter review. Of 375 presentations, 116 (31%) were due to NS. NS diagnosis was more likely for local referrals than from regional hospitals (41% versus 19%; P = 0.0002). Compared with stroke/transient ischaemic attack patients, NS patients were significantly younger, more likely to have an magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan and had a shorter length of hospital stay. Common NS diagnoses were migraine (22%), functional neurological disorder (14%), syncope (12%) and seizure (6%). NS patients who had an MRI scan were more likely to have a length of stay ≥2 days (75% versus 53%; P = 0.03). NS makes up one-third of acute stroke-like presentations with a high frequency of neurological conditions. NS patients tend to be younger and require significant investigation. The increased use of MRI and neurological services has implications for providing a hyperacute stroke service.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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