Acute Intravenous Tissue Plasminogen Activator Therapy does not Impact Community Discharge after Inpatient Rehabilitation

Int J Neurorehabil. 2015;2(4):183. Epub 2015 Oct 15.


Background and purpose: Discharge status and acute re-hospitalization are used as indicators of stroke severity and recovery. Intravenous t-PA (tissue plasminogen activator) is one of two treatments shown to have a positive impact. Stroke rehabilitation patients are an important population who will end up integrated back into the community, institutionalized or hospitalized due to late stroke complications. We sought to determine factors contributing to post rehabilitation discharge and acute re-hospitalization, in particular, the impact of t-PA therapy.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of census data from ischemic stroke patients on the UTHealth Stroke/Neurorehabilitation Services at Memorial Hermann Hospital - Texas Medical Center between Jan 2011 and Nov 2013, discharged to the Community, SNF (Skilled Nursing Facility) or AC (Acute Care). Demographics and NIHSS (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale) were collected. Discharge FIM (Functional Independence Measure) was the reference standard. Genitourinary infections were a negative mediator in the multivariate regression.

Results: Of 346 patients, 274 returned to the community, 47 to SNF, and 25 to AC.

Nihss and t-pa therapy: Median NIHSS values were 8 in the community group, 11 in SNF and 9.5 in AC. 31.8% of patients received IV t-PA in the community group, 23.4% in SNF and 24% in AC. There were no statistically differences in community discharge rates.

Community vs ac: One day increase in rehabilitation hospitalization correlated with 19% decreased odds of AC readmission (OR 0.81; P=0.001). One unit discharge FIM increase correlated with 13% decreased odds of AC readmission (OR 0.87; P=0.003).

Community vs snf: One year age increase correlated with 4% increased odds of SNF admission (OR 1.04; P=0.02).

Conclusions: Intense rehabilitation evidenced by FIM improvement and length of stay, impacts community discharge in mild to moderate stroke patients. t-PA had no effect. This study is limited by sample size, retrospective design and undetermined psychosocial factors.

Keywords: Acute thrombolysis; Functional independence measure; Hospital re-admission; Outcomes; Skilled nursing facility; Stroke rehabilitation.