A population-based study of thrombolysis for acute stroke in South Australia

James Leyden, Woon Chong, Timothy Kleinig, Andrew Lee, John Field, Jim Jannes

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    18 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: To report the rate of thrombolysis for treating acute stroke in South Australia from October 2007 to September 2009. We hypothesised that the rate of thrombolytic therapy would be related to distance from an acute stroke unit. Design, setting and patients: An observational, population-based, retrospective review of case notes and imaging, using multiple case-ascertainment methods. Patients administered a thrombolytic agent by any method for suspected ischaemic stroke in urban, rural, public and private hospitals in SA (covering a population of 1.5 million people) were included. Main outcome measures: Absolute and relative contraindications for thrombolysis administration in each case, according to the 2007 National Stroke Foundation guidelines; incidence of haemorrhage; and population thrombolysis rates according to distance from an acute stroke unit. Results: A total of 158 cases of thrombolytic therapy for suspected acute ischaemic stroke were identified in 157 patients. Fifteen patients (10%) had symptomatic intracranial haemorrhage, of whom eight (5%) died within 3 months. Seven patients had symptomatic extracranial haemorrhage. Five patients (3%) received thrombolysis despite absolute contraindications. Patients living closer to stroke units were more likely to receive thrombolysis. Conclusions: Rates of symptomatic haemorrhage after thrombolysis were similar to those in voluntary registries. A large proportion of South Australians are currently missing out on acute stroke therapy as a result of poor access to acute stroke units in both urban and rural settings. It is estimated that fewer than 2% of ischaemic stroke patients are administered thrombolysis in SA.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)111-115
    Number of pages5
    JournalMedical Journal of Australia
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2011


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