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Neurol Sci. 2014 Jan;35(1):49-52. doi: 10.1007/s10072-013-1484-8. Epub 2013 Jun 27.

Delay in presentation after acute ischemic stroke: the Careggi Hospital Stroke Registry.

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Stroke Unit and Neurology, AOU Careggi, Florence, Italy.


Intravenous thrombolysis with recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator is the approved treatment for acute ischemic stroke within 4.5 h from symptoms onset. Evidence suggests the earlier treatment was given, the greater the chance of a favorable outcome. We investigated if the delay in hospital presentation has been modified in the past 8 years. Acute ischemic strokes admitted to the Emergency Department of the Careggi Hospital, Florence from March 2004 to December 2012 were prospectively collected in the Careggi Hospital Stroke Registry. Proportion of patients presenting ≤ 2 h, 2-3.5, 3.5-6, and >6 h from symptom onset or with awakening stroke were compared. From March 2004 to December 2012, 3,856 patients with acute ischemic stroke arrived to the Careggi Emergency Department. During the period, 28.3 % of patients arrived ≤ 2 h from symptoms onset and 9.8 % between 2 and 3.5 h. The proportion of time-eligible patients is steady in the first years with a slight increase in 2011 and 2012. Early presentation is significantly associated with younger age, intracerebral hemorrhage, and stroke severity. In this study, about one-third of acute ischemic strokes arrived at the Emergency Department within the therapeutic time-window for intravenous thrombolysis. There is only a slight increase in early presentation through the period, mainly in the last 2 years. Additional efforts are required to impact deeply on the rates of time-eligible patients.

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