Clinical and Imaging Features Associated with the Utilization of Comfort Measures Only in Acute Ischemic Stroke

Varun Jain, Amreen Farooqui, Yoram A. Roman Casul, Nandakumar Nagaraja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Up to 10% of acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients can die in the first 30 days. Older age and a higher National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score are associated with transition to comfort measures only (CMO) in AIS. There are insufficient data on specific stroke etiology, infarct location, or vascular territory for the association of AIS with the use of CMO. We therefore evaluated the clinical and imaging factors associated with utilization of CMO and their outcomes. Methods: AIS patients seen in an academic comprehensive stroke center in the United States between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016, were subgrouped based on the use of CMO orders (CMO vs. non-CMO) during hospitalization. Clinical, laboratory, and imaging data were analyzed. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed, adjusting for pertinent covariates. Results: The study consisted of 296 patients, 27 (9%) patients were transitioned to CMO. Compared with non-CMO patients, those with CMO were older (mean ± standard deviation: 66 ± 15 vs. 75 ± 11 years, p = 0.002). Hemorrhagic transformation of AIS was more likely in CMO (17% vs. 41%, p = 0.0030) compared with non-CMO patients. On multivariate analysis, severe stroke measured by the NIHSS score (odds ratio [OR] = 1.2; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.1-1.4), infarction of the insular cortex (OR = 12.9; 95% CI = 1.4-118.4), and presence of cerebral edema with herniation (OR = 9.4; 95% CI = 2.5-35.5) were associated with transition to CMO. Conclusions: The presence of severe stroke, infarction of the insular cortex, and cerebral edema with herniation were associated with utilization of CMO in AIS. Impairment of multiple neurological functions served by the insular cortex could play a role in transition to CMO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-412
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of palliative medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Nursing
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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