Clinical Characteristics and Emergent Therapeutic Interventions in Patients Evaluated through the In-hospital Stroke Alert Protocol

Victor J. Del Brutto, Agnieszka Ardelt, Andrea Loggini, Zachary Bulwa, Faten El-Ammar, Raisa C. Martinez, James Brorson, Fernando Goldenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose: Emergent evaluation of inpatients with suspected acute ischemic stroke faces difficulty of symptoms recognition, false alarms, and high rate of contraindications to reperfusion therapies. We aim to assess the clinical characteristics and therapeutic interventions implemented in patients evaluated though the in-hospital Stroke Alert Protocol. Methods: We analyzed 4 years-worth of Stroke Alert cases at a university hospital. Demographics, clinical presentation, final diagnosis, and acute interventions were compared between inpatients and those presenting to the emergency department. Findings: A total of 1965 Stroke Alert cases were included: 959 (48.8%) were acute cerebrovascular events and 1006 (51.2%) were noncerebrovascular. Hospitalized patients accounted for 489 (24.9%) of Stroke Alerts and patients in the emergency department for 1476 (75.1%). Inpatients were more likely to present with nonfocal neurological deficits (46.2% versus 32.4%, P <.0001) and be diagnosed with noncerebrovascular disorders (62.4% versus 47.5%, P <.0001). Acute interventions other than thrombolysis were delivered in 77.1% of in-hospital cases. Compared to the emergency department, inpatients were more commonly managed with rectification of metabolic abnormalities (21.5% versus 13.7%, P <.001), suspension or pharmacological reversal of drugs (11% versus 3.7%, P <.001), and initiation of respiratory support (13.5% versus 9.3%, P =.01). Inpatients with acute ischemic stroke received intravenous thrombolysis less frequently (4.9% versus 23.9%, P <.001), but the endovascular treatment rate was comparable (9.8% versus 10.3%) to the emergency department. Conclusion: Nonfocal neurological deficits and noncerebrovascular disorders are commonly encountered during in-hospital Stroke Alerts. In the inpatient setting, intravenous thrombolysis is rarely delivered while other time-sensitive therapeutic interventions are frequently implemented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1362-1370
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019


  • In-hospital stroke—Stroke Alert Protocol—stroke code—stroke mimics—intravenous thrombolysis—mechanical hombectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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