JOURNAL OF STROKE & CEREBROVASCULAR DISEASES, vol.25, no.5, pp.1041-1047, 2016 (SCI-Expanded)
Background: The relatively late approval of use of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) for acute ischemic stroke in Turkey has resulted in obvious underuse of this treatment. Here we present the analyses of the nationwide registry, which was created to prompt wider use of intravenous thrombolysis, as well as to monitor safe implementation of the treatment in our country. Methods: Patients were registered prospectively in our database between 2006 and 2013. Admission and 24-hour National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale and 3-month modified Rankin Scale scores were recorded. A "high-volume center" was defined as a center treating 10 or more patients with rt-PA per year. Results: A total of 1133 patients were enrolled into the registry by 38 centers in 18 cities. A nearly 4-fold increase in the study population and in the number of participating centers was observed over the 6 years of the study. The mean baseline NIHSS score was 14.5 +/- 5.7, and the prevalence of symptomatic hemorrhage was 4.9%. Mortality at 3 months decreased from 22% to 11% in the 6 years of enrollment, and 65% of cases were functionally independent. Age older than 70 years, an NIHSS score higher than 14 upon hospital admission, and intracranial hemorrhage were independently associated with mortality, and being treated in a high-volume center was related to good outcome. Conclusions: We observed a decreasing trend in mortality and an acceptable prevalence of symptomatic hemorrhage over 6 years with continuous addition of new centers to the registry. The first results of this prospective study are encouraging and will stimulate our efforts at increasing the use of intravenous thrombolysis in Turkey.