Poststroke complications such as pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis and pneumonia can impact outcome by causing deterioration in general health, delaying or preventing rehabilitation. While stroke carries a direct risk of complications, some events may be unrelated to index stroke severity and could confound outcome. We examined whether the presence of complications ‘unrelated’ to index stroke at later time-points could confound outcome, and if this could be minimised through altering study end-points. The majority of complications in the early acute period after index stroke were ‘stroke related’ (30·2%). Patients did not have a better modified Rankin Scale profile at 30 days when compared with 90 days, regardless of the type of complications experienced. The absence of ‘stroke unrelated’ complications was associated with a worse outcome at 30 days [P=0·04, adjusted odds ratio for good functional outcome=0·54, 95% confidence interval (0·3, 0·96)], and had no significant effect on outcome at 90 days.
- clinical trial
- ischaemic stroke