Rate and associated factors of transient ischemic attack misdiagnosis

Alireza Sadighi, Alia Stanciu, Mihai Banciu, Vida Abedi, Nada El Andary, Neil Holland, Ramin Zand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background and purpose: The goal of this study was to investigate the rate and associated factors of Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) misdiagnosis. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed consecutive patients with an initial diagnosis of TIA in the emergency department (ED) in a 9-month period. All hospitalized TIA patients were evaluated by a neurologist within 24 h and had at least one hospital discharge follow-up visit within three months. Patients' clinical data and neuroimaging were reviewed. The final diagnosis was independently verified by two stroke neurologists. Results: Out of 276 patients with the initial diagnosis of TIA, 254 patients (mean age 68.7 ± 15.4 years, 40.9% male, 25.2% final diagnosis of TIA) were included in the analysis. Twenty-four patients (9.4%) were referred to our rapid-access TIA clinic. The rate of TIA misdiagnosis among TIA clinic referred patients was 45.8%. Among the 230 patients in inpatient setting, the rate of TIA misdiagnosis was 60.0%. A hospital discharge diagnosis of TIA was observed in 54.3% of hospitalized patients; however, only 24.8% had the final diagnosis of TIA. Among hospitalized patients, the univariate analysis suggests a significant difference (P < .05) between the two groups (correctly versus misdiagnosed patients) in terms of hospital discharge diagnosis, final diagnosis, history of diabetes mellitus, and coronary artery disease. In regression model hospital discharge diagnosis (P < .001), final diagnosis (P < .001), and diabetes mellitus (P = .018) retained independent association with TIA misdiagnosis. Conclusion: Our study indicates a high rate of TIA misdiagnosis in the emergency department, hospital, and outpatient clinics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100193
StatePublished - Jun 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology


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