Background and purpose: Inverse relationship between onset-to-door time (ODT) and door-to-needle time (DNT) in stroke thrombolysis was reported from various registries. We analyzed this relationship and other determinants of DNT in dedicated stroke centers.
Methods: Prospectively collected data of consecutive ischemic stroke patients from 10 centers who received IV thrombolysis within 4.5 hours from symptom onset were merged (n=7106). DNT was analyzed as a function of demographic and prehospital variables using regression analyses, and change over time was considered.
Results: In 6348 eligible patients with known treatment delays, median DNT was 42 minutes and kept decreasing steeply every year (P<0.001). Median DNT of 55 minutes was observed in patients with ODT ≤30 minutes, whereas it declined for patients presenting within the last 30 minutes of the 3-hour time window (median, 33 minutes) and of the 4.5-hour time window (20 minutes). For ODT within the first 30 minutes of the extended time window (181-210 minutes), DNT increased to 42 minutes. DNT was stable for ODT for 30 to 150 minutes (40-45 minutes). We found a weak inverse overall correlation between ODT and DNT (R(2)=-0.12; P<0.001), but it was strong in patients treated between 3 and 4.5 hours (R(2)=-0.75; P<0.001). ODT was independently inversely associated with DNT (P<0.001) in regression analysis. Octogenarians and women tended to have longer DNT.
Conclusions: DNT was decreasing steeply over the last years in dedicated stroke centers; however, significant oscillations of in-hospital treatment delays occurred at both ends of the time window. This suggests that further improvements can be achieved, particularly in the elderly.
Keywords: door-to-needle time; emergencies; ischemic stroke; outcome; thrombolysis.