Race-Ethnic Disparities in Rates of Declination of Thrombolysis for Stroke.


Background and objectives

Prior regional or single-center studies have noted that 4% to 7% of eligible patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) decline IV tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). We sought to determine the prevalence of tPA declination in a nationwide registry of patients with AIS and to investigate differences in declination by race/ethnicity.


We used the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke registry to identify patients with AIS eligible for tPA and admitted to participating hospitals between January 1, 2016, and March 28, 2019. We compared patient demographics and admitting hospital characteristics between tPA-eligible patients who received and those who declined tPA. Using multivariable logistic regression, we determined patient and hospital factors associated with tPA declination.


Among 177,115 tPA-eligible patients with AIS at 1,976 sites, 6,545 patients (3.7%) had tPA declination as the sole documented reason for not receiving tPA. Patients declining treatment were slightly older, were more likely to be female, arrived more often at off-hours and earlier after symptom onset, and were more likely to present to Primary Stroke Centers. Compared with non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black race/ethnicity was independently associated with increased (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.21, 95% CI 1.11-1.31), Asian race/ethnicity with decreased (aOR 0.72, 95% CI 0.58-0.88), and Hispanic ethnicity (any race) with similar odds of tPA declination (OR 0.98, 95% CI 0.86-1.13) in multivariable analysis.


Although the overall prevalence of tPA declination is low, eligible non-Hispanic Black patients are more likely and Asian patients less likely to decline tPA than non-Hispanic White patients. Reducing rates of tPA declinations among non-Hispanic Black patients may be an opportunity to address disparities in stroke care.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Mendelson, Scott J, Shuaiqi Zhang, Roland Matsouaka, Ying Xian, Shreyansh Shah, Barbara L Lytle, Nicole Solomon, Lee H Schwamm, et al. (2022). Race-Ethnic Disparities in Rates of Declination of Thrombolysis for Stroke. Neurology, 98(16). pp. e1596–e1604. 10.1212/wnl.0000000000200138 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/31135.

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Roland Albert Matsouaka

Associate Professor of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics

Ying Xian

Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology

Shreyansh Shah

Assistant Professor of Neurology

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