The Role of Neurohospitalism in a Specialized Cardiovascular Hospital

Eur Neurol. 2024;87(2):49-53. doi: 10.1159/000537930. Epub 2024 Feb 21.


Introduction: Cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery are among the specialties that most commonly require neurology inpatient consultations. We aimed to study the neurology referrals by the cardiovascular-specialized hospital included in our tertiary hospital center.

Methods: Retrospective study of consecutive patients referred for neurology inpatient consultation between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2022. We analyzed referrals, patients' characteristics, and the approach taken. A detailed subanalysis was performed for patients diagnosed with acute ischemic stroke (AIS).

Results: 143 patients were observed (mean age 67.3 years, 46 [32.2%] females). Most frequent referral reasons were suspected AIS deficits (39.2%), altered mental status (19.6%), suspected seizures (13.3%), and neuroprognostication (11.9%). Mean referral-to-consult time was 2.7 days, and 117 (81.8%) consults were in-person. Additional investigation, treatment changes, and outpatient clinic referral were proposed, respectively, in 79.7%, 60.1%, and 19.6% of patients. Most common diagnoses were AIS (45.5%), hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (18.9%), and delirium (7.0%). Regarding patients with AIS (n = 62), most common stroke causes were post-cardiac procedure (44.6%), infective endocarditis (18.5%), aortic dissection (10.8%), acute myocardial infarction (10.8%), and anticoagulant withdrawal in patients with atrial fibrillation (6.2%). Thirty-four AIS patients were diagnosed less than 24 h since last seen well, of which four (6.2%) were treated (three with thrombolysis and one with mechanical thrombectomy).

Conclusion: AIS is the most common reason for referral in our cardiovascular hospital. Our results highlight the importance of the availability of a neurologist/neurohospitalist with stroke expertise for consultation of inpatients admitted in a specialized cardiovascular hospital.

Keywords: Cardiovascular units; Neurohospitalism; Neurointensivism; Neurology consultation; Stroke.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Special / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Ischemic Stroke* / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurology / statistics & numerical data
  • Referral and Consultation* / statistics & numerical data
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tertiary Care Centers