In-hospital delays to stroke thrombolysis: Paradoxical effect of early arrival

Jose G. Romano, Nils Muller, Jose G. Merino, Alejandro M. Forteza, Sebastian Koch, Alejandro A. Rabinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the causes of in-hospital delays for thrombolysis. Methods: We performed a 4 year retrospective chart analysis of i.v. tPA-treated patients at an academic medical center. Data collected included age, stroke severity by the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) and the following time points: symptom onset, hospital arrival, computed tomography (CT), i.v. tPA order and i.v. tPA initiation of infusion. Results: Thirty-one cases with sufficient information for analysis were identified. Mean time from onset to arrival was 58 minutes, from arrival to brain CT was 32 minutes, and from onset to i.v. rtPA infusion was 169 minutes. The mean delay between i.v. tPA order and infusion was 32 minutes. Delay between order and administration of i.v. tPA resulted in treatment after 3 hours in 9/31 cases. An inverse relationship between early hospital arrival and delayed thrombolysis was noted. Age and stroke severity did not impact treatment times. Conclusion: An unexpected delay between order and actual initiation of i.v. tPA infusion resulted in almost one-third of patients receiving thrombolytics after 3 hours from symptom onset. The cause of this delay could not be discerned by this study. The paradoxical effect between early arrival to hospital and delayed treatment may be related to a sense of urgency in those arriving close to 3 hours after onset. Critical reviews such as this permit identification of hospital delays in stroke treatment, thus allowing institution of appropriate strategies to ensure prompt treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)664-666
Number of pages3
JournalNeurological research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2007


  • Acute therapy
  • Intravenous thrombolysis
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'In-hospital delays to stroke thrombolysis: Paradoxical effect of early arrival'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this