Expedited management of low-risk transient ischemic attack patients: The "Fast-Track" TIA protocol


Aurora Neuroscience Innovation Institute


Objectives: Transient ischemic attack (TIA) serves a precursor for an acute ischemic stroke (AIS); however, not all TIA patients harbor the same risk for subsequent AIS. We aimed to investigate expediting outpatient management of low-risk TIA patients (ABCD: Giles and Rothwell, 2007 score ≤ 3) via our "Fast-Track" TIA Protocol (FTTP).

Materials and methods: A retrospective analysis was performed on patients who presented to our academic network 04/2020 - 2/2021. Patients who presented with ABCD: Giles and Rothwell, 2007 scores ≤ 3 without large vessel occlusion or flow limiting stenosis were eligible for the FTTP. These patients were discharged on dual antiplatelet therapy and statin and received prescriptions for transthoracic echo, holter monitor, LDL, and A1c along with a scheduled follow-up appointment 30 days from presentation.

Results: 182 consecutive patients were evaluated during this period, 21 (11%) were excluded from analysis due to NIHSS > 0 and/or infarct present on MRI. 35 (22%) patients qualified for FTTP and were directly discharged from the ED. Median ABCD2 score was 2 for the discharge group and 4 for the admitted group. There was a significant difference with respect to age and hypertension. Additionally, the FTTP patient population were more likely to be smokers than the admitted patient population. 3 FTTP patients re-presented to the ED, but none of them suffered a symptomatic stroke.

Conclusions: A FTTP demonstrated feasibility and safety with low rates of re-presentation and ischemic stroke. Further research is warranted to determine an optimal patient population that can be safely managed in an outpatient setting.

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