Med J Aust 2008 Jul;189(1):9-12
Neurology Department, Liverpool Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
Objective: To compare outcomes at 28 days and 1 year between patients admitted to hospital and those discharged after presenting to the emergency department (ED) with transient ischaemic attack (TIA).
Design And Setting: All TIA presentations to EDs in a large metropolitan and rural region of Sydney and its surroundings, New South Wales, between 2001 and 2005 were extracted from state health department databases and followed up over 1 year. Admission and discharge data and subsequent TIA or stroke presentations were identified.
Main Outcome Measures: TIA recurrence or stroke.
Results: Of 2535 presentations to an ED with TIA during the 5-year period, 1816 patients were admitted to hospital (71.6%) and 719 were discharged from the ED (28.4%). At 28 days, the discharged group had significantly higher rates of recurrence than the admitted group for all events (TIA or stroke) (5.3% v 2.3%, P < 0.001), stroke (2.1% v 0.7%, P = 0.002), and recurrent TIA (3.2% v 1.6%, P = 0.01). During the 29-365-day follow-up period, there was no significant difference between the discharged and admitted groups for all events (4.2% v 5.1%; P = 0.37), stroke (1.3% v 2.5%; P = 0.06) or recurrent TIA (2.9% v 2.6%; P = 0.65).
Conclusion: Patients with an ED diagnosis of TIA may benefit from admission to hospital through a reduced risk of early stroke.