Temporal Profile of Pneumonia After Stroke

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The occurrence of pneumonia after stroke is associated with a higher risk of poor outcome or death. We assessed the temporal profile of pneumonia after stroke and its association with poor outcome at several time points to identify the most optimal period for testing pneumonia prevention strategies. METHODS We analyzed individual patient data stored in the VISTA (Virtual International Stroke Trials Archive) from randomized acute stroke trials with an inclusion window up to 24 hours after stroke onset and assessed the occurrence of pneumonia in the first 90 days after stroke. Adjusted odds ratios and hazard ratios were calculated for the association between pneumonia and poor outcome and death by means of logistic and Cox proportional hazard regression, respectively, at different times of follow-up. RESULTS Of 10 821 patients, 1017 (9.4%) had a total of 1076 pneumonias. Six hundred eighty-nine (64.0%) pneumonias occurred in the first week after stroke. The peak incidence was on the third day and the median time of onset was 4.0 days after stroke (interquartile range, 2-12). The presence of a pneumonia was associated with an increased risk of poor outcome (adjusted odds ratio, 4.8 [95% CI, 3.8-6.1]) or death (adjusted hazard ratio, 4.1 [95% CI, 3.7-4.6]). These associations were present throughout the 90 days of follow-up. CONCLUSIONS Two out of 3 pneumonias in the first 3 months after stroke occur in the first week, with a peak incidence on the third day. The most optimal period to assess pneumonia prevention strategies is the first 4 days after stroke. However, pneumonia occurring later was also associated with poor functional outcome or death.
as reported in: Stroke. 2021 Sep 14 STROKEAHA120032787 [Epub ahead of print]