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

Scott J. Mendelson, Shuaiqi Zhang, Roland Matsouaka, Ying Xian, Shreyansh Shah, Barbara L. Lytle, Nicole Solomon, Lee H. Schwamm, Eric E. Smith, Jeffrey L. Saver, Gregg Fonarow, Jane Holl, Shyam Prabhakaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background and ObjectivesPrior 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.MethodsWe 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.ResultsAmong 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.DiscussionAlthough 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1596-E1604
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 19 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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