Association between i.v. thrombolysis volume and door-to-needle times in acute ischemic stroke

Adrien E. Groot, Ivo N. van Schaik, Marieke C. Visser, Paul J. Nederkoorn, Martien Limburg, Majid Aramideh, Frank de Beer, Caspar P. Zwetsloot, Patricia Halkes, Jelle de Kruijk, Nyika D. Kruyt, Willem van der Meulen, Fianne Spaander, Taco van der Ree, Vincent I.H. Kwa, Renske M. Van den Berg-Vos, Yvo B. Roos, Jonathan M. Coutinho

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Centralization of intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) for acute ischemic stroke in high-volume centers is believed to improve the door-to-needle times (DNT), but limited data support this assumption. We examined the association between DNT and IVT volume in a large Dutch province. We identified consecutive patients treated with IVT between January 2009 and 2013. Based on annualized IVT volume, hospitals were categorized as low-volume (≤24), medium-volume (25–49) or high-volume (≥50). In logistic regression analysis, low-volume hospitals were used as reference category. Of 17,332 stroke patients from 11 participating hospitals, 1962 received IVT (11.3 %). We excluded 140 patients because of unknown DNT (n = 86) or in-hospital stroke (n = 54). There were two low-volume (total 101 patients), five medium-volume (747 patients) and four high-volume hospitals (974 patients). Median DNT was shorter in high-volume hospitals (30 min) than in medium-volume (42 min, p < 0.001) and low-volume hospitals (38 min, p < 0.001). Patients admitted to high-volume hospitals had a higher chance of DNT < 30 min (adjusted OR 3.13, 95 % CI 1.70–5.75), lower risk of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage (adjusted OR 0.39, 95 % CI 0.16–0.92), and a lower mortality risk (adjusted OR 0.45, 95 % CI 0.21–1.01), compared to low-volume centers. There was no difference in DNT between low- and medium-volume hospitals. Onset-to-needle times (ONT) did not differ between the groups. Hospitals in this Dutch province generally achieved short DNTs. Despite this overall good performance, higher IVT volumes were associated with shorter DNTs and lower complication risks. The ONT was not associated with IVT volume.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-813
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of neurology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Door-to-needle time
  • High-volume
  • Hospitals
  • Stroke
  • Thrombolytic therapy

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