Intensive Care Admission and Management of Patients With Acute Ischemic Stroke: A Cross-sectional Survey of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine

Chiara Robba, Martina Giovannini, Geert Meyfroidt, Mathieu van der Jagt, Giuseppe Citerio, Martin Smith

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Background: No specific recommendations are available regarding the intensive care management of critically ill acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients, and questions remain regarding optimal ventilatory, hemodynamic, and general intensive care unit (ICU) therapeutic targets in this population. We performed an international survey to investigate ICU admission criteria and management of AIS patients. Methods: An electronic questionnaire including 25 items divided into 3 sections was available on the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine Web site between November 1, 2019 and March 30, 2020 and advertised through the neurointensive care (NIC) section newsletter. This survey was emailed directly to the NIC members and was endorsed by the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine. Results: There were 214 respondents from 198 centers, with response rate of 16.5% of total membership (214/1296). In most centers (67%), the number of AIS patients admitted to respondents’ hospitals in 2019 was between 100 and 300, and, among them, fewer than 50 required ICU admission per hospital. The most widely accepted indication for ICU admission criteria was a requirement for intubation and mechanical ventilation. A standard protocol for arterial blood pressure (ABP) management was utilized by 88 (58%) of the respondents. For patients eligible for intravenous thrombolysis, the most common ABP target was < 185/110 mm Hg (n = 77 [51%]), whereas for patients undergoing mechanical thrombectomy it was ≤ 160/90 mm Hg (n = 79 [54%]). The preferred drug for reducing ABP was labetalol (n = 84 [55.6%]). Other frequently used therapeutic targets included: blood glucose 140 to 180 mg/dL (n = 65 [43%]) maintained with intravenous insulin infusion in most institutions (n = 110 [72.4%]); enteral feeding initiated within 2 to 3 days from stroke onset (n = 142 [93.4%]); oxygen saturation (SpO 2) > 95% (n = 80 [53%]), and tidal volume 6 to 8 mL/kg of predicted body weight (n = 135 [89%]). Conclusions: The ICU management of AIS, including therapeutic targets and clinical practice strategies, importantly varies between centers. Our findings may be helpful to define future studies and create a research agenda regarding the ICU therapeutic targets for AIS patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-320
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the many colleagues who completed this survey; a full list of collaborators is available in the supplementary material (List of collaborators, SDC 13, The authors would also like to thank Mrs Sherihane Bensemmane and the ESICM for their support in the development of the study.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


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