Background and Purpose - Since its introduction, controversy has existed about the administration of intravenous heparin for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke. We studied trends in the intravenous heparin use during a 6-year time period and the potential influence of clinical guidelines in national language on intravenous heparin administration in Korea. Methods - On the basis of a prospective nationwide multicenter stroke registry, we collected data on patients with acute ischemic stroke who arrived within 7 days of symptom onset during the time period 2008 to 2013. We studied patient demographics, prestroke medical history, stroke characteristics, and stroke treatment. Data from a total of 23 425 patients from 12 university hospitals or regional stroke centers were analyzed. Results - The administration of intravenous heparin steadily decreased throughout the study period: 9.7% in 2008, 10.9% in 2009, 9.4% in 2010, 6.0% in 2011, 4.7% in 2012, and 4.3% in 2013 (P for trend <0.001). The reduced intravenous heparin use was associated with moderate stroke severity, atrial fibrillation, and stroke of cardioembolic, other-, and undetermined etiology. In a multivariable logistic model, increase of 1 calendar year (odds ratio, 0.89; 95% confidence interval, 0.84-0.95; P<0.001) and release of clinical practice guidelines in Korean (odd ratio, 0.74; 95% confidence interval, 0.59-0.91; P<0.01) were independent factors associated with reduction in the frequency of intravenous heparin use. Conclusions - Use of intravenous heparin for acute ischemic stroke treatment has decreased in Korea, and this change may be attributable to the spread and successful implementation of regional clinical practice guidelines.
- cerebral infarction
- guideline adherence
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Advanced and Specialised Nursing