Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme, Mimic Audit 2021: Short report

Reports | Published: 16 Jun 2022

The Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP) has published its latest short report into stroke mimics. Based on data between 1 and 30 September 2021 at hospitals in England and Wales, this sprint audit aims to improve understanding of the national picture of stroke mimics, and the resources that stroke teams were allocating to mimic activity.

The report found that 52.8% of stroke assessments were finally diagnosed as stroke mimics (6,351 mimics reported in comparison to 5,672 strokes), and the average age of patients diagnosed with a mimic was 70 years old. Other findings include:

  • There are a wide range of medical and neurological conditions presenting as stroke mimics, with neurological mimics making up the biggest group
  • The majority of patients were assessed by a stroke clinician in person (93%)
  • The proportion of stroke mimics receiving thrombolysis ranged between sites from 0 to 10.7%.
  • Stroke mimics were rapidly discharged from the stroke unit with a median length of stay of 1.7 days. However, 6.3% of mimics had a length of stay of 10 days or more.

The report also found that an important number of mimics included decompensation of a previous stroke, which may occur in the setting of infection or metabolic insult. In many of these circumstances of diagnostic uncertainty, it stresses that urgent access to MRI is important.

Read the full report: You can read the report by clicking on the link below.

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Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme, Mimic Audit 2021: Short report