Target: Stroke Was Associated With Faster Intravenous Thrombolysis and Improved One-Year Outcomes for Acute Ischemic Stroke in Medicare Beneficiaries

Shumei Man, Ying Xian, Da Juanicia N. Holmes, Roland A. Matsouaka, Jeffrey L. Saver, Eric E. Smith, Deepak L. Bhatt, Lee H. Schwamm, Gregg C. Fonarow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: The benefit of intravenous thrombolytic therapy for acute ischemic stroke is time dependent. To assist hospitals in providing faster thrombolytic treatment, the American Heart Association launched target: stroke quality initiative in January 2010 which disseminated feasible strategies to shorten door-to-needle times for thrombolytic therapy. This study aimed to examine whether target: stroke was associated with improved door-to-needle times and 1-year outcomes. Methods: We analyzed Medicare beneficiaries aged ≥65 years receiving intravenous thrombolytic treatment for acute ischemic stroke at 1490 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke hospitals during January 2006 and December 2009 (preintervention, n=10 804) and January 2010 and December 2014 (postintervention, n=31 249). The median age was 80 years and 42.7% were male. Results: The median door-to-needle times decreased from 80 minutes for the preintervention to 68 minutes for the postintervention (P<0.001). The proportion of patients receiving intravenous thrombolysis with door-to-needle times 45 minutes and 60 minutes increased from 9.6% and 24.8% for preintervention to 17.1% and 40.6% for postintervention, respectively (P<0.001). The annual rate of increase in the door-to-needle times of 60 minutes or less accelerated from 0.20% (95% CI, -0.43% to 0.83%) per each 4 quarters for preintervention to 5.68% (95% CI, 5.23%-6.13%) for postintervention (P<0.001) which was further confirmed in piecewise multivariable generalized estimating analysis (adjusted odds ratio, 1.27 [95% CI, 1.19-1.35]). Cox proportional hazards analysis, after adjusting for patient and hospital characteristics and within-hospital clustering, showed that target: stroke was associated with lower all-cause readmission (40.4% versus 44.1%; hazard ratio, 0.91 [95% CI, 0.88-0.95]), cardiovascular readmission (19.7% versus 22.9%; hazard ratio, 0.85 [95% CI, 0.80-0.89]), and composite of all-cause mortality or readmission (56.0% versus 58.4%; hazard ratio, 0.96 [95% CI, 0.93-1.00]). The risk decline in all-cause mortality dissipated after risk adjustment (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.98 [95% CI, 0.94-1.02]). Conclusions: Target: stroke quality initiative was associated with faster thrombolytic treatment times for acute ischemic stroke and modestly lower 1-year all-cause and cardiovascular readmissions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E007150
JournalCirculation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • odds ratio
  • stroke
  • thrombolytic therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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