Effect of aphasia on acute stroke outcomes

Academic Article


  • Objective: To determine the independent effects of aphasia on outcomes during acute stroke admission, controlling for total NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS) scores and loss of consciousness. Methods: Data from the Tulane Stroke Registry were used from July 2008 to December 2014 for patient demographics, NIHSS scores, length of stay (LOS), complications (sepsis, deep vein thrombosis), and discharge modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score. Aphasia was defined as a score >1 on question 9 on the NIHSS on admission and hemiparesis as >1 on questions 5 or 6. Results: Among 1,847 patients, 866 (46%) had aphasia on admission. Adjusting for NIHSS score and inpatient complications, those with aphasia had a 1.22 day longer LOS than those without aphasia, whereas those with hemiparesis (n = 1,225) did not have any increased LOS compared to those without hemiparesis. Those with aphasia had greater odds of having a complication (odds ratio [OR] 1.44, confidence interval [CI] 1.07-1.93, p = 0.0174) than those without aphasia, which was equivalent to those having hemiparesis (OR 1.47, CI 1.09-1.99, p = 0.0137). Controlling for NIHSS scores, aphasia patients had higher odds of discharge mRS 3-6 (OR 1.42 vs 1.15). Conclusion: Aphasia is independently associated with increased LOS and complications during the acute stroke admission, adding $2.16 billion annually to US acute stroke care. The presence of aphasia was more likely to produce a poor functional outcome than hemiparesis. These data suggest that further research is necessary to determine whether establishing adaptive communication skills can mitigate its consequences in the acute stroke setting.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Neurology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Boehme AK; Martin-Schild S; Marshall RS; Lazar RM
  • Start Page

  • 2348
  • End Page

  • 2354
  • Volume

  • 87
  • Issue

  • 22